More Australian towns fall victim to flooding

A swollen river submerged bridges and inundated homes and stores yesterday in Australia's already sodden Queensland state as more heavy rain added to the country's worst flooding in decades.

Maryborough became the latest of some 40 towns to be partly awash as a river running through it burst its banks and entered parts of the town of 22,000, which has been heavily protected by sandbags and levees. Downstream, residents of Gympie were frantically sandbagging their town in anticipation of flooding there today.

The flooding was not as bad as in recent weeks, when entire towns were submerged beneath an inland sea the size of France and Germany combined, but was a sign that the ground has little capacity left to soak up any more moisture, so any new rain is likely to make matters worse.