Saturday, 31 December 2016

Record rainfall closes Australia's Uluru national park

A record amount of rainfall in Australia has closed its famous national park at Uluru in what meteorologists described as a "twice a century" weather event.

Waterfalls have formed all over the park's huge sandstone landmark, which is also known as Ayers Rock and is among Australia's top tourist attractions in the Northern Territory.

"There's a lot of water coming off the rock and what that does is just channels across the ring road around Uluru," said park ranger Mike Misso.

"Some of those roads there were flooded by about 300-400mm of rain. Quite spectacular but very hazardous road conditions."

Rangers were forced to close the park at 9am on Boxing Day due to flooded roads and a risk of car accidents.

The heavy rain also led to flash flooding in the nearby town of Kintore, which saw 25 houses flooded and forced dozens to evacuate the area.

"There's a significant number of houses that have been affected by flooding in some capacity," Acting Superintendent Pauline Vicary told ABC News.

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