(Sydney) A family of four, stranded for four days in the Australian outback, was evacuated by helicopter on Tuesday after floods prevented first aid, police said.
Ori and Lindsey Zafros, a Perth couple, and their two young children were driving through the Simpson Desert in central Australia when their stroller got stuck in a swamp after heavy rain.
They activated a distress beacon, alerting the Australian Maritime Safety Authority to their location on Friday.
But for days, the floods made any rescue mission impossible, with authorities only able to bring down a satellite phone, long-range radio, food and water.
After several days of waiting in the desert, police confirmed that the family had been taken to a safe location on Tuesday afternoon.
“The family has been flown to Coober Pedy at night, where they will make their additional travel arrangements,” South Australian Police said in a statement.
“We are happy and happy in tears that they were finally saved,” Ori Zafros’ mother told national television ABC.
Severe storms have swept through the region in recent days, with the desert town of Alice Springs receiving its heaviest daily rainfall since 2001, turning the dusty Todd River into a turbulent stream.
The volatile weather has also caused flooding and warnings in large parts of southern and eastern Australia.
In recent years, Australia has increasingly suffered from severe droughts, bushfires and floods due to climate change.
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