Australia floods: People warned about crocodiles and snakes in water

Last updated at 06:15
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WATCH: Naz reports on the floods hitting Townsville in Australia

People in the Australian city of Townsville are being warned to watch out for crocodiles and snakes that have been spotted in flooded residential areas.

The reptiles have been photographed in streets and on driveways following several days of record rainfall that has affected thousands of homes.

Local police said children seen playing in floodwater really need to watch out for crocodiles, snakes and other dangers, including leaking sewage.

Authorities have said more heavy rain is expected in coming days.

What's happening in Townsville?
Crocodile on driveway in Townsville, AustraliaAFP
One crocodile was spotted lurking on a driveway in Townsville

Townsville has received more than a metre of rain in the past week - more than 20 times the average for the time of year.

More than 1,100 people have been evacuated from the town after a "once in a century" flood.

On Sunday, the city authorities were forced to open the gates at the Ross River dam to release water, after it had swollen to double its size following a week of record rainfall.

Up to 20,000 homes are at risk of being flooded.

Map of Australia highlighting the city of Townsville in Queensland state

Emergency workers and the army said they had received more than 1,000 calls for help. They've been using boats and helicopters to move people to higher ground.

"This is unprecedented, we've never seen anything like this before," said Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

"It's basically not just a one-in-20-year event, it's a one-in-100-year event," she said.

What's the weather like in Australia now?
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WATCH: Why is it so hot in Australia right now? (Courtesy of ABC Behind the News)

Northern Queensland has a tropical climate and experiences monsoon rain from December to April. But the current conditions in the Townsville area are rare.

Australia's Bureau of Meteorology said the monsoon rainfall had missed other parts of the state which are in the grip of an intense drought.

January was the hottest month on record for Australia as a whole, with the southern city of Adelaide breaking its own records twice in the month, first reaching 47.7 Celsius and then 49.5 Celsius.

The heat has sparked bushfires, including more than 40 blazes on the island state of Tasmania which have been burning for over two weeks.

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