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NT Police, Fire and Emergency Services

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Bushfires NT

Bushfires NT

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Road Report NT

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School closures - Thursday 22 March 2018

Government Schools

To ensure the safety of all children, the following preschools will not be open on Thursday 22 March 2018.

  • Larrakeyah Preschool (primary school open)
  • Wagaman Preschool (primary school open)

Efforts are still continuing at Wagaman Preschool and Larrakeyah Preschool to ensure that these sites are safe. Parents are encouraged to contact their preschools directly to confirm.

All government schools in the Top End will be open on Thursday 22 March 2018.

Non-Government schools

For all Non-Government school enquiries, parents are encouraged to contact their school office directly to confirm.

Boil Water Alert for Belyuen Community Cancelled

Issued Wednesday 21 March 2018

The Belyuen Community’s water supply is once again safe for drinking.

The Department of Health has lifted the Precautionary Advice for Drinking Water (Boil Water Alert) following confirmation from the government laboratory that water samples taken from Belyuen are free from harmful bacteria.

Power and Water Corporation officers responded rapidly and initiated a number of measures to ensure that the water supply is safe again to drink.

Xavier Schobben Director Environmental Health Department of Health said the boil water alert was issued on 19 March 2018 as a precautionary response to the damage to the water supply system caused by Tropical Cyclone Marcus.

Anyone who has concerns can contact the department’s Environmental Health hotline during business hours on toll free 1800 095 646.

Boil Water Alert for Belyuen Community

Issued Monday 19 March 2018

A precautionary advice for drinking water (Boil Water Alert) was issued today for the Belyuen community, following advice from the Power and Water Corporation that water supply infrastructure has been damaged due to Cyclone Marcus.

Power and Water Corporation personnel are currently assessing the situation and will take action to rectify problems with the water supply.

Therefore as a precautionary measure, the Department of Health recommends that water for drinking, food preparation and oral hygiene be obtained from either packaged bottled water or by boiling tap water and allowing to cool prior to use.

The Department of Health will lift the Precautionary Advice for Drinking Water (Boil Water Alert) once Power and Water Corporation confirms the Belyuen water supply is safe to drink.

Anyone who has concerns can contact the department’s Environmental Health hotline during business hours on toll free 1800 095 646.

Boil Water Alert lifted for Darwin, Palmerston and surrounding area

Issued 9.22am Monday 19 March 2018

The precautionary advice for drinking water (Boil Water Alert) has been cancelled for Darwin, Palmerston and surrounding area.

Tap water is safe to drink.

Power and Water Corporation has advised the Department of Health that as of 9.22am, Monday 19 March 2018 the results of sampling show the water supply to be free of bacterial contamination and that the water is safe to drink.

Should any further advice be received from Power and Water Corporation about isolated possible contamination the Department of Health may issue additional advice.

The precautionary advice was consistent with established protocols between the Chief Health Officer and Power Water Corporation.

Post cyclone melioidosis warning

In the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Marcus, Top End residents and visitors are being urged to continue protecting themselves from the potentially life-threatening soil-borne disease, melioidosis.

“Melioidosis is seen most frequently after heavy rain, and many Territorians will now be in the garden cleaning up after the cyclone so it is particularly important to protect against it at this time,” said Dr Peter Markey Acting Director of the Centre for Disease Control.

"Usually there are 35 - 50 cases of melioidosis reported in the Northern Territory each year and so far we have had 38 this wet season.

Dr Markey said melioidosis is an environmental bacterium and a common cause of serious pneumonia and blood poisoning in the Top End.

"The bacteria live below the soil's surface during the dry season and are found in surface water and mud and can become airborne after heavy rain.  

“It can enter the body through cuts and sores in the skin, but acquiring the bacteria through inhalation of dust or droplets is also possible.

“People most at risk are those with health concerns such as diabetes, hazardous alcohol intake, kidney disease, lung disease and cancer, as well as those on steroid therapy or other immunosuppressive treatment. Healthy people can get the disease if they are working in muddy soil without good hand and foot protection.

"Everyone should take extra care cleaning up after the cyclone ensuring they wear appropriate clothing; gloves, closed in shoes, long pants and long sleeves.  

After encountering muddy situations shower or wash as soon as possible so not to leave mud on the skin for a long time.

When using high-pressure hoses wear a facemask, particularly after a cyclone and especially for those who have a higher risk due to the aforementioned conditions.

Wash all cuts thoroughly in water and cover with a bandage as soon as possible.  If the wound is not healing or it becomes infected, seek medical advice.

"The symptoms of melioidosis can vary. The most common presentation we see is for pneumonia, with a cough, fever and shortness of breath.

The incubation period for acute melioidosis can range from one to 21 days, with some people becoming extremely ill within a few days of exposure to the bacteria.

Symptoms, which can develop in a few days, include:

  • fever
  • headaches
  • confusion
  • breathing difficulties

Symptoms slower to develop are:

  • weight loss
  • intermittent fevers
  • chest and abdominal pain
  • sores or wounds that will not heal

“We have seen three deaths due to melioidosis this wet season. Those most at risk of dying from the disease are people who have one or more risk factors.

If concerned about melioidosis please contact your local GP or hospital.

For more information read the melioidosis fact sheet.