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Northern Australia Grapples with Worst Rainfall in Decades

The northern region of Australia experienced the most heavy downpour in decades, stranding families on rooftops overnight.

Australia’s northern region faced its most intense rainfall in decades, leaving families stranded on rooftops overnight. 

The deluge disrupted normalcy, with one town experiencing an influx of crocodiles, while forecasts predict further heavy rainfall, hindering rescue operations.

Cairns Cut Off; Tropical Cyclone Remnants Blamed:

Cairns, home to over 150,000 residents, found itself nearly isolated due to relentless heavy rains. The downpour, attributed to the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Jasper that hit the region last week, led to widespread inundation, obstructing movement and rescue efforts, authorities reported.

Queensland Premier Steven Miles expressed concern for individuals stranded on a hospital roof overnight, including a child. However, aerial support remained impossible due to low clouds and heavy rainfall, delaying rescue operations until conditions improved.

Extensive Damage and Disruption:

Videos circulated on social media depicted submerged roads, extensive damage, and collapsed infrastructure. 

The torrential rain, lasting over 19 hours and surpassing 650 millimeters (approximately 25.6 inches), left 15,000 residents without power, prompting a large-scale deployment of personnel for rescue missions.

Officials highlighted persistent rainfall leading to dire water shortages, sewage system blockages, and disruptions in power and telecommunications. 

Concerns about snakes and crocodiles in floodwaters were raised, urging caution among affected residents.

Government Response and Assistance:

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese assured full military support for disaster relief operations. 

Despite efforts, ongoing forecasts predicted continued rainfall, exacerbating the situation for several communities already grappling with isolation, power outages, and major flooding warnings.

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