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Many places are inundated: unprecedented water in northwest Australia

Status: 07.01.2023 3:54 pm

Debris, impassable roads and water everywhere: Many parts of the Kimberley region in northwest Australia are flooded after heavy rains. Some cities can be cut off from the outside world for days at a time.

Flooding after heavy rain in Australia is having “catastrophic consequences” in remote towns in the country’s west, according to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. Many communities are in a desperate situation, Albanese told reporters. “The resources just aren’t there,” he added.

Helicopters have been ferrying people to safety in the sparsely populated Kimberley region, which has been flooded for the past few days. Recently, the rain has eased, but some cities may be cut off from the outside world for days. Western Australia’s head of emergency services, Darren Klemm, called it “the worst flooding our state has ever seen”.

Impassable: Flooding on the Great Northern Highway at Fitzroy Crossing.

Image: dpa

Destroyed houses everywhere

Although the water masses receded slowly, many residents of the hard-hit Fitzroy Crossing faced the ruins of their lives. The damage to the community of 1200 inhabitants was immense. The historic “Crossing Inn,” the city’s oldest hotel, was completely destroyed. Other communities continue to face threats of flooding. Emergency services tried to use helicopters to bring victims to safety. Meanwhile, parts of the Great Northern Highway, which links the metropolis of Perth to the northern port city of Windham, are impassable. The expressway is the only transport route to the north. Repair work is said to take weeks or even months.

The Kimberley region lies between the Indian Ocean and the Tanami Desert. The landscape with spectacular rock formations and beautiful beaches attracts tourists from all over the world.

Always flood

Over the past two years Australia has been battling repeated heavy rains, which have been favored by back-to-back La NiƱa weather events. This happened in the east of the country Flash floods in NovemberSome houses were torn from their foundations. In July, thousands of residents of the coastal city of Sydney were evacuated When more water was submerged in the rank districts of the city. Australian scientists have repeatedly warned that global warming increases the risk of natural disasters.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report from February 2022 assumes that the country will be affected by more frequent catastrophic natural events in the future.