Girl, 9, drowns after being swept away by floodwaters near Cooktown

Updated February 15, 2015 10:28:14

A nine-year-old girl has drowned in floodwaters south of Cooktown in far north Queensland.

Police said she was swept off a crossing at Rossville while swimming with family and friends about 2:30pm on Saturday.

A local swiftwater rescue team found the girl's body a short time later, about 400 metres downstream.

Police are investigating the circumstances.

Areas of the north tropical coast between Cape Tribulation and Cardwell were put on flood watch this weekend, after a slow moving tropical low was predicted to dump up to 300 millimetres of rain between Saturday and Monday.

Catchments at risk within the flood watch area include the Daintree, Mossman, Barron, Mulgrave, Russell, Johnstone, Tully and Murray rivers.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said the low was expected to form a cyclone by Wednesday when it crosses into the gulf.

Forecaster Ilona Cooth said the bureau was monitoring the low carefully.

"We are seeing a fair bit of activity around a monsoon low which is why we're seeing those high rainfall amounts," Ms Cooth said.

"At the moment it's quite difficult to say how that activity is going to develop. We are currently watching that activity very carefully but at this point unfortunately there's quite a lot of variance in the model information."

Overnight, rainfall around the Cairns region was moderate.

According to the BoM, Cairns Racecourse received 31mm in the 24 hours to 9:00am on Sunday.

The BoM's next flood watch is due to be issued by 12:00pm.

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES) said specialist swiftwater rescue crews would be based in Cairns, Cooktown and the Douglas Shire for the coming week.

Topics:accidents, disasters-and-accidents, floods, weather, cooktown-4895, qld

First posted February 14, 2015 22:34:54

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Updated February 15, 2015 10:22:19

At least 400,000 people have lined the streets of Perth for a second day to watch twogiant marionettes walk through the city as part of the International Arts Festival.

The six-metre tall little girl giant continued her search for a second giant, an 11-metre tall deep sea diver who had been resting outside the Perth train station.

On Saturday, he arose from his slumber and also began roaming the streets.

At one point he stopped and appeared to take a drink from a fire truck.

The two figures are due to meet on Sunday at Langley Park and leave on a barge on the Swan River.

The performance, The Incredible and Phenomenal Journey of the Giants, attracted an estimated 180,000 people to the city on Friday.

Crowds began pouring into the CBD from early this morning and people were standing 10-deep in some parts of the city.

A festival spokeswoman said 400,000 people had watched the performance on Saturday morning.

The little girl giant is operated by a team of 25 people pulling strings to make her limbs move.

As she moved along she performed a series of gymnastic moves, before arriving at Weld Square in Northbridge where she was due to have a four-hour nap.

Festival artistic director Jonathan Holloway said he had been "blown away" by how people had responded to the giants.

"The audiences have just been amazing ... obviously the girl is wonderful," he said.

He said the audience reaction had been "unbelievably good .... people are energised, they're excited".

Transperth spokesman David Hynes said trains had been at capacity between 8:00am and 11:00am, with many people at inner-city stations unable to board.

He said extra services and carriages had been put on, and an estimated 18,000 people an hour had travelled by train into the city during that time.

"We did have a few issues earlier - it would seem that people left it a bit late trying to get in to see the diver giant," he said.

"I don't think anyone was expecting such a crush this morning, but that's been resolved now, although numbers are still heavy."

Yesterday the girl travelled several city blocks before resting in a deck chair at Wellington Square and reading from a giant book.

The $5 million event is expected to draw in more than one million people over three days.

Information on finding and following The Giants is at Perth Festival website.

Topics:street-art, performance-art, perth-6000

First posted February 14, 2015 13:12:44

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