Several hundred people have been evacuated in the northwest, in the Kimberley region, due to flooding caused by the passage of Eli, a former tropical cyclone.
Several hundred people stranded by the “floods of the century” that hit the country’s northwest have been evacuated by Australian army helicopters, a rescue official said on Sunday.
The vast, but sparsely populated Kimberley region was hit by ex-Tropical Cyclone Eli with heavy rains.
“Water is everywhere,” Stephen Dawson, Minister of Emergency Services for Western Australia, told reporters. In some places, the flooded land stretches for 50 kilometers “as far as the eye can see”.
“The people of Kimberley are facing a once-in-a-century flood, the worst in Western Australian history,” he added.
Australia has been a victim of frequent floods for the past two years, but in the eastern part of it, in the wake of the recurrent La Niña weather phenomenon.
Helicopters to repopulate the population
In the western Kimberley region, where half the population is Aboriginal, 232 people have been evacuated so far, authorities said. While the rains subsided after the storm moved east, in the northern regions, the Meteorological Office warned of the continuation of “record floods” there.
Authorities say Chinook helicopters are on their way to help transport residents. Five more helicopters are expected to come to the rescue by Thursday.