KIMBERLY: As many as 280 have been evacuated out of the 13000 residents in the country’s northwest, official leading relief operations said. As Australia’s northwest was hit by ‘once in century’ flooding, military helicopters were deployed to evacuate those stranded. Australian Defence Force (ADF) aircraft and Chinook helicopters were en-route to help relocate residents.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has promised A$10,000 (£5,700) for home repairs and up to the same amount to replace household goods. “The water is everywhere,” Western Australia emergency services minister Stephen Dawson told reporters in Perth. “People in the Kimberley are experiencing a one-in-100-year flood event, the worst flooding Western Australia has had in its history.
The crisis began last week in wake of the former tropical cyclone Ellie, which brought heavy rains to this area and isolated some areas. According to media reports, the crisis is “far from over” as the cyclone moves east of the country. “Even as the storm shifted eastward to trouble other states, “record-breaking major flooding” continued in the Kimberley, the Bureau of Meteorology said.
Damage is being assessed in the remote Western Australian desert town of Fitzroy Crossing as the floodwater recedes. The Fitzroy River hit 15.81m at Fitzroy Crossing last Wednesday, breaking its 2002 record of 13.95m.
Pictures of the flood on the internet show wrecked highways and bridges, shattered and submerged homes; and stranded animals and humans. Great Northern Highway, which connects the country’s vast north is said to have been broken in several places as the Fitzroy River poured onto floodplains.