Wujal Wujal, a rural town located in Queensland's Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire, faces a mandatory evacuation in the wake of ex-tropical cyclone Jasper, which has triggered unprecedented flooding in far north Queensland.
As the natural disaster continues to unfold, the Royal Australian Navy has been actively involved in rescuing hundreds of individuals, responding to the aftermath of nearly one metre of overnight rainfall.
Among the severely affected areas, Wujal Wujal, north of Cairns stands out, with nine individuals, including a seven-year-old child and health workers, reportedly stranded on a hospital roof during the crisis.
Reports suggest nine people also remain atop structures nearby in Degarra and Bloomfield.
"It now appears likely we will need to evacuate the entire town of Wujal Wujal," Queensland Premier Steven Miles told reporters on Monday.
"This rainfall is next level."
There is a serious weather emergency playing out right now in Far North Queensland as the region continues to be impacted by ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper. There is still more rain to come.
Some communities have received up to 600mm of rain in the past day.
— Steven Miles (@StevenJMiles) December 17, 2023
The town's residents are expected to be evacuated to Cooktown.
"We are providing support to those people now," State Disaster Co-ordinator Shane Chelepy told reporters.
North of Cairns, more than 300 rescues have been executed, responding to more than 1000 calls for assistance.
Evacuations, supported by the HMAS Cairns naval base, have successfully relocated hundreds of people.
The Australian Defence Force is mobilising additional troops from Townsville, while emergency services are scheduled to be airlifted to Cairns on Monday.
"We will deliver along with the Queensland government ... whatever is necessary," Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said of ADF support.
"The important thing at this point in time is to ensure that people are kept safe.
"A number of people are isolated and have needed rescuing from their terrible circumstances so our thoughts go to all people in those communities."
State Disaster Coordinator, Shane Chelepy, said they had been in contact via phone and were safe, saying everything would be done to help them as soon as possible.
The deluge has continued in Far North Queensland and QFES crews have had their work cut out. The SES received more than 1,000 requests for assistance in the past 24 hours, while Fire and Rescue Service swiftwater firefighters responding to more than 370 callouts.
Our crews remain… pic.twitter.com/B6GKp4REwQ
— Qld Fire & Emergency (@QldFES) December 17, 2023
Ergon Energy's Mark Hammill informed reporters approximately 14,000 people in the far north are currently grappling with power outages.
Main roads are closed due to flooding in the region, with repairs likely to take months.
The Daintree experienced major flooding, surpassing the 2019 record at 15m, with the Barron River near Cairns reaching its highest level since 1977, reaching 4.4m.
Flood warnings are in place for Mossman, Murray, Herbert, Tully, Johnstone, and Mulgrave rivers.
Yandill near Daintree received 684mm of rain since Sunday morning, with Myola, near Mossman recorded 638mm and Cairns airport received 307mm.
A severe weather warning persists in the far north for Port Douglas, Daintree village, Wujal Wujal, Cooktown, and Hope Vale, excluding Cairns.
With its airport closed Cairns faces isolation, with reports of aircraft submerged.
Residents are advised to conserve water with the rain is expected to subside on Monday as the ex-cyclone slowly progresses northward.
"People have been devastated and of course it's a very dangerous situation for many who are in very unprecedented floodwaters," Mr Albanese told ABC.
"The forecast tragically is predicting more rain still throughout today and the major flood warnings are in place for several communities which are already cut off or without power.
"We have activated already financial support for residents directly impacted as well as for local councils to assist in what will be a major clean-up."