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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Crocodiles ‘everywhere’ after teen attack amid floods: official warning

Crocodiles could be “everywhere” after a teenager was attacked during evacuations due to severe flooding in Australia’s Northern Territory (NT) this week.

According to ABC NT, a 17-year-old man was bitten by a crocodile in the township of Kalkarindji in the Northern Territory. The attack happened while the teenager was in the flood waters, who told the news outlet he was bitten “on the back of the leg.” According to the BBC, the teenager suffered a “minor laceration” and was treated at a nearby clinic.

Speaking to ABC NT, Local Government Minister Chansey Paech warned of possible crocodiles in the floods, saying: “So in the coming months after this event it’s going to be really important to just be water safe and crocological.”

In a statement to the BBC, a spokesman for Paech’s office added: “When the river overflows, they’re everywhere,” referring to the wild reptiles.

The crocodile attack comes amid large-scale evacuations in the country’s Northern Territory due to flooding. In 2017, Australian government data showed there was approximately one crocodile attack every year in the nation, dating back to 1985.

In a statement on its website on Friday, Defense Australia said: “At the request of the Northern Territory Government, Defense Australia, through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), is assisting the territory’s emergency authorities in evacuating up to 600 people from flood-affected areas .”

The statement continued, “The evacuees are from remote communities in the Kalkarindji, Pigeon Hole and Daguragu areas that have been inundated by rising waters of the upper Victoria River as heavy rains continue across the state. Air Force C-27J Spartan fixed-wing transport aircraft ferry people from Kalkarindji (Kalkgurung) Airfield to Katherine and other locations as needed. The Defense remains ready to provide additional support to state emergency services should a request be received from NEMA.

On Thursday, Paech shared an update on the evacuation effort on Twitter: “Of the approximately 700 people in Kalkardindji, 35 have medical needs and were evacuated yesterday along with their carers. Defense Australia has given us three large aircraft – two C130s and a C27 ​​- and they are working to fly evacuees from Kalkarindji to Katherine.”

“My team and I are still here if you need us – and we will work closely with government and non-governmental agencies to get you home. As soon as I know more, so will you,” Paech said in another series of tweets Friday morning.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Nicole Manison warned of extensive clean-up efforts after the floods.

“It’s going to be a hell of a lot to do and understand that these poor people, a lot of them, lost all their belongings, all the things they have because it was a significant flooding event,” Manison said, according to ABC NT.

news week turned to Defense Australia for further comment.

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