Record flooding has hit the Australian state of Queensland as residents are urged to limit their movements due to crocodile-infested waters.
Nearly 100 people have been evacuated to higher ground in the hardest-hit remote town of Burketown, about 1,300 miles (2,100 km) northwest of the state capital, Brisbane, following the heavy rains last week.
The Gregory River peaked at 12.3 meters, surpassing a previous record of 6.78 meters (22.2 feet) by almost double, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Queenstown Police have warned Burketown residents to limit their movement in floodwaters due to recent crocodile sightings.
“Due to current conditions, it is unsafe for displaced people to return to their homes and police are reminding residents to limit their movement through floodwaters due to unseen dangers and recent crocodile sightings,” the city said. police.
Aerial footage of Burketown shows properties and swathes of land submerged under water.
Police also released footage of a baby kangaroo rescued from crocodile-infested floodwaters by a helicopter pilot.
The force said the pilot flew over and spotted “two very large crocodiles nearby”, before bringing the kangaroo back to dry land.
Dan McKinlay, chief executive of the local council responsible for Burketown, said on Sunday that 97 residents had been airlifted in the past 48 hours.
Water levels in the area were “at previously unknown heights” and the city appeared to be “sitting in the middle of an ocean”, he told ABC radio.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology predicted water levels in the region would peak on Sunday and said it had already surpassed a March 2011 record of 6.78 metres.
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The 2011 record was broken after up to 293mm of rain fell on Thursday and Friday, the Bureau of Meteorology said.
The crisis comes after frequent flooding in eastern Australia over the past two years due to a multi-year La Nina weather event, including once-a-century floods that hit remote parts of the Northern Territory neighbor, in January.