Days of torrential monsoonal rains have completely flooded Townsville and parts of North Queensland, Australia. The rainfall has hit record highs and numerous residents have been evacuated from suburbs bombarded by floodwaters. The Bureau of Meteorology already said earlier that heavy rain was all set to continue over in the coming days. Townsville has been declared as a disaster zone.
A Low-pressure area had formed over Northwest of Queensland and on reaching Queensland, the system remained stagnant as no intense weather system was persisting which would have influenced its further movement. The moisture incursion from Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean led to heavy downpour over this region. Thus, wreaking havoc over the same and its adjoining regions. The system is now headed towards south-east and rains are expected to recede eventually.
For next 24 hours, we expect moderate to heavy rains to continue.
Schools and businesses have been closed and highways cut off. The Ross River Dam is beyond capacity, reaching its highest levels in past 10 years. The residents are calling it as once in a century event.
The authorities on Sunday night decided to fully open the floodgates of the Ross River Dam. The decision has not been taken lightly but it had been done to make sure that water has some outlet. Queensland is still used to such natural disasters, but Townsville has never seen anything of this sort before.
Watching saltwater crocodiles has been a flabbergasting sight in the Townsville area. The authorities had already warned earlier that the floodwaters will be full of snakes, and crocodiles. Intense rain with significant flash flooding was expected between Ingham and Bowen on Monday, and Mackay, extending inland to Mount Isa near the Northern Territory border.
Not only this, the authorities have also warned of the potential for tornado-strength winds and have already observed offshore tornadoes. However, till now no tornadoes have been seen.
Emergency Alert has been declared as well which says that the residents are advised not to swim in flood water and to necessarily abide with the road closure signage.
Similar weather conditions were witnessed in Kerala in August 2018. All five overflow gates of the Idukki Dam were opened at the same time, and for the first time in 26 years 5 gates of the Malampuzha dam of Palakkad were opened.
Image Credit: ABC News Australia/ Australian Government
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