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Record-breaking flood in Australia’s Queensland predicted to peak

A record-breaking flood in
Australia’s Queensland state has been forecast to peak,
after almost 100 residents of an outback town were moved to
higher ground.

The flood, triggered by heavy rain over the past week, is
worst in the remote Gulf Country town of Burketown, about 2,100
km northwest of state capital Brisbane.

Dan McKinlay, chief executive of the local council
responsible for Burketown, said on Sunday that 97 residents had
been airlifted out in the past 48 hours.

Water levels in the area were “at heights not previously known” and the town looked like it was “sitting in the middle of an ocean”, he told ABC radio.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology predicted water levels in
the area would peak on Sunday.

It said the flood had already
topped a March 2011 record of 6.78 metres.

READ MORE: Heavy rain in Australia triggers flood evacuations in Queensland town

La Nina event

The crisis comes after frequent flooding in Australia’s east
over the last two years due to a multi-year La Nina weather
event, including once-in-a-century floods that hit remote areas
in the neighbouring Northern Territory, in January.

On Saturday, police released aerial images of the Burketown
flooding, showing properties and swaths of land submerged.

The Bureau of Meteorology expected the weather event to continue this week, but said it was now in a “receding” phase.

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