Crocodile, Disease Worry Flooded Australian Town

FRIDAY, JAN. 30, 1998

Residents of the flood-ravaged Outback town of Katherine had a new worry Thursday - a 13-foot crocodile seen swimming down the town’s flooded main street overnight.

“Parks and wildlife officers are trying to track down the crocodile, and we are urging Katherine residents to be careful of this extra danger,” a police spokeswoman said.

The crocodile warning comes on top of concerns that the muddy water still inundating the town, 185 miles south of Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory, could cause an outbreak of disease.

The Northern Territory’s health department has warned Katherine’s 11,000 residents not to swim in or swallow the floodwater.

On Wednesday, Northern Territory Chief Minister Shane Stone declared the Katherine area a disaster zone and said damages are in the tens of millions of dollars. Thousands of people have been evacuated.

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