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Northwest Australia has been hit by floods

Northwest Australia has been hit by floods

Officials announced on Sunday that unprecedented rains have caused flooding in the Australian state of Queensland (Northwest).

Flooding particularly hit the city of Cairns, a major tourist hub that overlooks the Great Barrier Reef, and its airport was closed, according to emergency services.

Rivers in the region are already full after a tropical cyclone hit this week, flooding highways and downing trees.

A ten-year-old girl is in critical condition after being struck by lightning in southern Queensland on Saturday.

Some parts of the state have recorded 600 millimeters of rain in the last 24 hours and another 500 millimeters is likely in the next 24 hours, meteorologist Laura Bogle said on Sunday.

“These flash floods are dangerous and dangerous precisely because of their sudden nature,” he told a news conference.

Queensland Premier Steven Miles said the situation was “extremely serious and could get worse.” He added: “I’ve spoken to people who have lived on the ground in the far north of the state all their lives and they’ve never seen anything like this.”

Mr Miles said Cairns Airport was forced to close due to fears of more flooding than the 1977 cyclone.

About 10,500 people in the state are without electricity, he said.

Emergency services carried out several evacuations and rescues, and five emergency centers were opened. However, no deaths or disappearances have been reported at this stage.

Senior Fire and Safety Officer Stephen Smith urged residents to stay at home. “These events are life-threatening and there is no point in people moving here or there,” he said.

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