Australians warned to avoid crocodile-infested waters after record-breaking Queensland floods

Mar 14, 2023, 7:13 AM | Updated: 7:17 am
Queensland, Australia, has seen record-breaking flooding, with residents of some areas warned again...
Queensland, Australia, has seen record-breaking flooding, with residents of some areas warned against traveling because of large crocodiles sighted in the floodwaters. (Aaron Finn/Nautilus Aviation/Reuters)
(Aaron Finn/Nautilus Aviation/Reuters)

(CNN) — Queensland, Australia, has seen record-breaking flooding, with residents of some areas warned against traveling because of large crocodiles sighted in the floodwaters.

The flooding, caused by heavy rain, has been particularly severe in Burketown, a small community in the north of the state about 1,300 miles northwest of the state capital Brisbane. Aerial images show roads and houses submerged.

Almost 100 residents had to be airlifted to higher ground, according to a Reuters report.

Floodwaters in Burketown reached record levels, according to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology on Tuesday, with the river rising above the previous highest level of 6.78 meters recorded in 2011.

On Monday, Queensland Police warned residents to stay out of the floodwaters as a helicopter had spotted “two very large crocs” in the waters.

The warning was made in a video posted to Twitter, which showed police rescuing a baby kangaroo from the floodwaters.

In a statement on Tuesday, Queensland Police said: “It is still unsafe for displaced people to return to their homes and police remind residents to limit movement in the flood water due to unseen hazards and recent crocodile sightings.”

The flooding is expected to ease slowly over the next few days, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, but it is likely to remain above the “major flood level” of 6 meters (nearly 20 feet) until Wednesday and possibly longer.

This flooding crisis is just the latest for Australia, which has endured several major floods over the last few years, due to a multi-year La Nina weather event, typically associated with increased rainfall. These include the devastating, record-breaking floods in Western Australia in January, which affected an area almost three times the size of the United Kingdom.

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Australians warned to avoid crocodile-infested waters after record-breaking Queensland floods