Seven missing after freak rains drench Australia's outback

By REUTERS
December 27, 2016 08:20

MELBOURNE - Unusual torrential rain in Australia's outback turned the Uluru monolith into a series of cascading waterfalls and triggered flash floods, and seven people are missing including a Japanese tourist who was swept away in a car and an Australian family.

Police were using helicopters to search for the family of six, missing since Christmas Day downpours drenched the desert that is usually sweltering in the midst of the southern summer at this time of year.

A car carrying three people, believed to be Japanese tourists, was washed off a road into a flooded creek near the town of Alice Springs, police said.

Two people managed to get out but police had "grave concerns" for the third who was trapped as the vehicle was washed away, said Acting Superintendent Brendan Muldoon.


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