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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Empty roads are seen as Cyclone Jasper approaches landfall near Cairns in far north Queensland on December 13, 2023. — AFP pic
SYDNEY, Dec 17 — Australian authorities today ordered thousands of people in the north of Queensland state to move to higher ground because of the danger of flooding sparked by torrential rain.
State authorities said major flooding was underway in some suburbs of Cairns, a tourist hub and a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, around 1,700kmnorth of capital Brisbane.
“Properties in these areas may continue to experience flooding with the approaching high tide and continued rainfall. Residents should move to higher ground now,” Queensland Fire and Emergency Services said on its website in one of several emergency alerts for parts of north Queensland.
The flooding has been sparked by heavy rain from ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper, which tore through the region this week, and was forecast to bring more deluges today.
Australia’s weather forecaster predicted “intense rainfall in the Cairns region, which may lead to dangerous and life-threatening flash flooding”.
Cairns Local Disaster Management Group, which predicted flooding in the town to peak later on Sunday, said homes, buildings, roads and bridges had been inundated.
“Power, water, sewerage and telephone services could be lost in the area,” the agency said in a statement.
There was also flooding today about 120 kilometres north of Cairns at the tourist town of Daintree Village, where around 350mm (913.8 inches) of rain had fallen since 9am local time yesterday, the weather forecaster said. “Heavy rainfall is forecast to continue for the remainder of today,” it said on its website. “The situation will continue to be closely monitored.” — Reuters
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