Australia’s iconic Uluru reopens after heavy rain

Sunset on Uluru also known as Ayer’s Rock. Pic: Michelle Holihan/Shutterstock

AUSTRALIA’S world famous Uluru reopened on Tuesday after record-breaking summer rains turned the monolith in the middle of the outback desert into a series of cascading waterfalls.

The Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which surrounds the Australian landmark also known as Ayers Rock, was closed when heavy rain and flash flooding hit the area on Christmas Day and Monday.

The desert area usually suffers sweltering heatwaves in the Australian summer, but on Monday footage posted on social media showed rain pouring off the massive rock.

Northern Territory Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Sally Cutter said more than 232 millimetres (nine inches) of rain fell on Kintore on Monday, more than double the record December rainfall of 110 millimetres (four inches) in 2003.

Uluru, a sacred aboriginal site, is one of Australia’s major tourist destinations, attracting 300,000 visitors a year.

Around 80 people from Kintore remained in evacuation centers on Tuesday and roads in the area were inaccessible, a Northern Territory Police and Emergency Service’s spokesman told Reuters. – Reuters