Canberra: The Australian government has deployed army personnel to assist with evacuations from flooded communities in the Northern Territory (NT).
Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt on Thursday approved a request from the NT government for Australian Defence Force (ADF) assistance.
Remote communities in the northwest of NT have been cut off by widespread flooding caused by monsoonal storms, with some regions receiving more than 300 mm of rain over the past week, with between 90 and 140 mm forecast for Friday.
“I approved a request from the NT government to supply ADF aircraft and personnel to evacuate residents of remote NT communities that are experiencing serious flooding,” Watt wrote on social media.
“I’ve been in contact with NT Chief Minister Natasha Fyles to offer Federal support to keep people safe.”
Residents of affected communities will be flown to Katherine before being taken 300 km to Darwin, capital city of NT, where they will be housed in temporary accommodation.
“Those facilities are geared up for an evacuation of this nature, so if additional facilities are needed at those venues, then they will be provided as part of this evacuation,” Danny Bacon, the NT Emergency Services Regional Controller, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
On Wednesday, a teenager who was being evacuated from the small community of Dagaragu was bitten on the back of the leg by a crocodile.
Ambulance services said the 17-year-old was treated for a bite by a small crocodile at a clinic after being evacuated.
Territorians have been urged to exercise extra caution around crocodiles after heavy rainfall.