Authorities planned to drop fodder to stranded cattle in Australia’s flooded far north on Friday, Reuters reports. Hundreds of animals died in the vast areas of the submerged Outback.
Torrential rains that hit the coastal city of Townsville, Queensland, this week have moved inland and flooded pasture lands that have suffered from severe drought for years.
Photos posted on social media show animals trying to escape flooding on patches of land surrounded by water, or lying breathlessly in the mud.
According to graziers, they had a year and a half of rainfall in seven days. Up to 60% of the cattle farmers had fed through the drought had been killed by the flooding. It has devastated the country — corpses of not only cows but also sheep, kangaroos, and wild pigs are lying in the mud.
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that authorities were working on a plan to supply trapped animals with fodder.
The country’s weather service said a 400km section of the Outback from Mount Isa to Richmond was flooded. The full scale of the disaster will be known when the sky clears.
More than 1,100 people were evacuated this week after authorities opened floodgates at the Ross River Dam due to reservoir overflow.
Two people died in Townsville.