World

Excuse me, is that a shark on your road?

BRISBANE: Wading through flooded areas can be dangerous anywhere, but in Australia ,the waters may contain snakes, crocodiles, even sharks.

One of the striking images showing the impact of category four Cyclone Debbie which smashed through north-east Australia this week was a paramedic's photo of a large bull shark that washed up on a road near the town of Ayr in Queensland state.

Sharks are not the only unusual sightings. State authorities warned that crocodiles and snakes could also be lurking around after Debbie hit.

"Flooded waterways increase the possibilities of crocodiles and other animals, such as snakes turning up in unexpected places," the state's environment and heritage protection department said.

"In most circumstances, crocodiles will be moving through, trying to get out of fast-flowing creeks and waterways to the quieter areas...

"Snakes are good swimmers and they too may turn up in unexpected places and may even find their way into people's properties."

Paramedic Lisa Smith, who photographed the dead shark, said she was stunned to find it lying near the Burdekin River.

"At first I thought it was a dolphin...," she told Brisbane's Courier Mail.

"This should definitely teach people to never walk in floodwaters as you never know what is in them."

Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from towns in two Australian states as authorities warned yesterday there could be deaths from severe flooding caused by the powerful cyclone.- AFP

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