"One-in-100-year flood event" devastates Western Australia
Sunday, January 8, 2023
Aerial evacuations took place and food was airlifted in yesterday after a devastating flood Western Australia emergency services minister called the 'worst in a century' isolated communities in the .
Flooding began last week after heavy rain fromswelled local rivers, bolstered by . Notably, the broke a 2002 record of 13.95 meters (45.8 ft), reaching a water level of 15.81 meters (51.9 ft) on Wednesday, according to a spokesperson.
The Bureau today released a statement warning while the storm has moved eastward toward the Northern Territory, "record-breaking major flooding" continues in the Kimberley.
Authorities estimate it could take months to recover from what Dawson called "the worst flooding Western Australia has had in its history." While the extent of the damage is not yet known, parts of thehave been shut, the bridge at Fitzroy Crossing closed and the airstrip inundated.
According to Reuters, among the hardest-hit is the town of , on the Fitzroy River after flooding created a 50 kilometers (31 mi) wide "inland sea", making roads there impassable.
By Saturday, 233 people had been evacuated from settlements across the Kimberley, which has a 50%population, and helicopters airlifted approximately 3,000 kilograms (6,600 lbs) of food and supplies as weather has improved and the airstrip reopened. Five new helicopters will begin operations by Thursday, Reuters heard.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese described the flood as "devastating" and pledged federal assistance for the region. The Western Australian government has also announced a 3 million distress fund organized by Perth's Lord Mayor .
- "'Once in a century' flood cuts off communities in northwestern Australia" — , January 8, 2023
- Ben Doherty, Tory Shepherd. "ADF airlifts food to Western Australia areas hit by floods – as it happened" — , January 7, 2023
- Tory Shepherd. "Western Australia's 'worst' flood reveals vulnerability of supply chains as 100 residents airlifted out" — , January 7, 2023