Australian military marches in to help Queensland locals in chock-a-croc floods

Updated: Feb 05, 2019, 08:26 IST | Agencies

The Australian Defence Forces filled sandbags, deployed amphibious cargo vehicles and helped pluck flashlight-wielding residents from their rooftops Monday, as monsoon rains drenched the northern state of Queensland

Australian military marches in to help Queensland locals in chock-a-croc floods
Army vehicles enter Townsville to help evacuate flood-affected people. Pic/AFP

Australia's military has been deployed to tackle devastating "once-in-a-century" floods that have inundated homes, schools and airports in the country's northeast, forcing hundreds to flee and bringing crocodiles onto the streets.

The Australian Defence Forces filled sandbags, deployed amphibious cargo vehicles and helped pluck flashlight-wielding residents from their rooftops Monday, as monsoon rains drenched the northern state of Queensland.

Australia's tropical north typically experiences heavy rains during the monsoon season, but the recent downpour has far exceeded normal levels. The authorities were forced to open floodgates late Sunday, unleashing what they called "dangerous and high velocity flows."

Desperate residents had to contend not only with flash flooding, landslides and power blackouts, but also reptilian predators that have been spotted in residential roads and cul-de-sacs. Emergency services struggled to respond, carrying out 18 "swift water rescues" overnight.

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