Canberra: An emergency situation has been declared and remote communities evacuated in Australia’s Northern Territory (NT) amid flooding.
NT Police on Thursday declared an emergency situation for the small towns of Pigeon Hole and Daguragu — both located approximately 550 km south of Darwin in the Australian outback — due to flooding, reports Xinhua news agency.
Matt Hollamby, Acting Assistant Commissioner of NT Police, told reporters on Friday that an estimated 100 residents of the two communities had been evacuated to higher ground, with authorities expecting the area to remain flooded for up to one week.
He said that authorities were also preparing evacuation plans for the larger town of Daly River — 130 km south of Darwin — in case water levels in the area reach major flood level.
Evacuees from Pigeon Hole will be housed at facilities in Darwin except for those considered medically vulnerable who will instead be taken to the closer town of Katherine.
Those from Daguragu will remain in the small nearby community of Kalkarindji until it is safe to return to their homes.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has forecast that some parts of the NT could receive over 200 mm of rainfall as a tropical low storm makes its way across the territory.
Miriam Bradbury, a BoM meteorologist, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Friday that it was a significant situation.
“The flood risk is still really high. The catchments are saturated after days of rain already. We’ve got flood watches current for much of the Top End and northern interior of the NT, with a number of flood warnings in place,” she said.
The Victoria Highway — the only major road linking the NT with Western Australia — has been closed since Wednesday due to flooding.