Updated December 18th, 2023 at 19:20 IST
Australia in Chaos: Flights halted, crocs on streets as severe floods hit Queensland
North Queensland communities dealt with the threat of crocodiles popping up in unusual places.
Queensland, Australia: Recently, North Queensland communities dealt with the threat of crocodiles popping up in unusual places. This came after a cyclone, record-breaking floods, power outages, and water shortages. A video of a crocodile was captured in a drain in Ingham on Monday, reported ABC. The crocodiles were also spotted in the Indigenous community of Wujal Wujal, where nine people spent the night huddled on the roof of the local hospital.
Crocodile spotted in Australia
Wildlife officers reviewed social media footage of the 2.5-metre saltwater crocodile resting in flood waters in the middle of town before capturing it with a harpoon, said senior wildlife officer Tony Frisby, reported The Gaurdian. Harpoons were used because they hook into the animal’s skin without causing harm.
“Using a harpoon is a direct method of capture and takes a lot of skill and experience to get close enough to the crocodile before the animal submerges,” said senior wildlife officer Tony Frisby. Further, he added. “It was a fantastic effort by wildlife officers to remove the animal by harpoon without needing to set a trap.”
Frisby said it was a timely reminder that weather events can displace crocodiles, which are then found in uncommon areas. It is expected the animal will be taken to a holding facility until the deluge subsides. Wujal Wujal resident Dallas Walker said the entire community was inundated by water overflowing from the Bloomfield River.
“[Town is] submerged in like dirty water, debris just everywhere. There’s a lot of mud. And it’s croc-infested waters as well,” she said.
Australia's Queensland deals with flooding
The Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council CEO, Kiley Hanslow, said crocodiles were swimming through the main street of the town. Several communities in the neighbouring Douglas Shire council are also underwater.
“When the water got as high as what it got, there was the opportunity for crocodiles to move,” Hanslow said. Further, he added, “And so there was a high risk [to] people when walking through water.”
Heavy rainfall brought severe flooding to Queensland in northeast Australia, forcing hundreds of people to evacuate their homes or cling to rooftops awaiting rescue, reported The Independent. More than 300 people were evacuated overnight from floodwaters amid concerns that Cairns – a city of nearly 160,000 people – would run out of fresh drinking water. Cairns received more than an average of two meters of rain in the past week. The rain, triggered in part by ex-tropical cyclone Jasper, produced more than 500mm of rainfall in the Daintree, Mossman, and Barron catchments over the past 24 hours, the Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland, said, adding that the figures could be higher.
Published December 18th, 2023 at 19:20 IST