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Australia to rescue hundreds stranded by floods
  • | AFP | March 23, 2011 08:42 PM

Hundreds of campers stranded by floods and landslides in Australia were waiting to be rescued on Wednesday after roads were washed out by freakish weather.

Campers leave a helicopter as authorities evacuate at Fish Creek some 300 people stranded after storms

Darby Bridge, leading to the Tidal River campsite on Wilsons Promontory in southeastern Victoria state, was washed away following torrential rain.

It left some 300 campers, including 200 schoolchildren, stranded.

Parks Victoria spokesman Steve Gartland said they may have to be evacuated by helicopter, although first preference was to take them out by road if possible.

"We can get people out if there is a need but we need to work out the best way to get a lot of people out," Gartland told reporters, adding that there were no reports of injuries.

The Tidal and Darby rivers both burst their banks and crews were also working to clean up the mess created.

"The water has begun receding. It was such a quick period of rain, and it has stopped raining and it has started to recede," he said.

"But there is damage to vehicles, walking tracks, bridges and the like ... We\'ll be working to make the road passable to get campers out this afternoon."

Heavy rain and floods have inundated parts of Australia this year, with Queensland hit hard in January when more than 30 people were killed.

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