Australia set for another week of floods
Sunday 23 January 2011
Rural Australian towns braced for another week of flooding Sunday as a vast lake continued to spread across the country's southeast and a potential tropical storm threatened the northeast.
The flooding began more than a month ago in Australia's northeast Queensland state, where 30 people have died, more than 30,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed and at least 3 billion Australian dollars ($3 billion) in crops and coal exports have been lost.
Record rains have shifted the flood emergency focus to southeast Victoria state, which is usually parched during the southern summer.
Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan said in a statement Sunday that the floods will rank as one of the most costly natural disasters in Australian history and its impact on the economy will be felt for years.
The government will announce its first cost estimates on Friday, he said.
The State Emergency Service has warned that a lake about 55 miles (90 kilometers) long northwest of the Victorian capital of Melbourne will continue coursing inland for the next week until it spills into the Murray River.
Emergency services were focusing their efforts 210 miles (340 kilometers) northwest of Melbourne at Swan Hill, a town of 10,000 where the Murray meets the swollen Lodden River and flood waters are expected to peak mid week, SES spokesman Sam Bishop said Sunday.
SES said 75 towns in the state have been affected by flooding and another five to 10 towns are still in the floodwaters' northern path across flat wheat-growing country.
Almost 2,000 homes and businesses were flooded or isolated and close to 5,000 people have been evacuated, SES said.
Meanwhile, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology warned Sunday that a low pressure system off the north Queensland coast could develop into a cyclone over the next few days.
The bureau rated the chances of a cyclone — which could lash the coast with gale-force winds and torrential rains — at between 20 percent and 50 percent.
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 Floyd Mayweather's mouthguard costs $25,000 - enough to fly to Las Vegas and back 18 times
- 5 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
Which country would be hardest to invade?
Morgan Freeman on the riot-focused coverage of the Baltimore protests: 'F**k the media'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
Nepal earthquake: Many survivors receiving no help despite relief effort
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...
£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...
£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...