Queensland floods: Schools shut, aerial rescue operation underway

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Mar 12, 2018, 03:19 AM(IST)

Representative image. Photograph:( Reuters )

Torrential rain has caused havoc in Queensland’s north The Bureau of Meteorology said, adding that rains are now easing but it is still not over. 

In the past four days, the amount of rainfall across Queensland has seen the region between Townsville and Cairns declared a disaster zone by the state government.

About 90 per cent of homes have been impacted in the northern town of Ingham, reports said. At least 20 schools and preschools in north Queensland will be closed on Monday after the  torrential rain and flooding.

More than 200 homes at Ingham needed to be evacuated and locals at Innisfail were also affected by the dangerous weather.

With the possible threat of a cyclone looming off the coast, insurance expert Bessie Hassan was quoted saying ib reports that: “Being precautionary now could prevent potentially thousands of dollars worth of damage later on.”

The government would work to make disaster funding available to individuals and local governments, media reports said. 

An aerial rescue operation is currently underway to rescue 68 Townsville school kids and 10 staff who were completely stranded at Echo Creek Adventure Camp as waters came dangerously close.

Three other students were flown out from the site yesterday, due to concerns about a possible gastro outbreak.

While Queensland has the highest occurrence of floods in the country, it’s concerning that the sunshine state is also the least prepared for a natural disaster, with a staggering 823,560 of Queenslanders not having any measures in place to protect themselves.

Meanwhile, a giant spider was found dangling for life on a branch overhanging flooded water. The spider is believed to be a whistling spider (Australian tarantula) — the name relates to the sound they make when feeling threatened. They are also known as bird-eating spiders.

Found in the warmer and more arid regions of Australia, the largest species can grow a body length of 6cm and a leg span of 16cm, with powerful fangs 1cm long.

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