Floods kill at least 7 in Brisbane and northeastern Australia
MELBOURNE, Australia – At least seven people have been killed in floods in northeastern Australia in the past few days, with wild weather forcing residents to evacuate and schools to close, while thousands of homes are inundated. went.
Queensland has been the hardest hit, with torrential rains lashing towns and cities and slowly moving south to swamp the state capital Brisbane, preparing for another night of heavy flooding on Sunday.
Photos taken from the city on Sunday night showed the Brisbane River in spate and several roads already severely inundated, causing heavy damage to roads, buildings and vehicles.
Around 1,400 homes in Brisbane are considered at risk by the authorities. Across Queensland, more than 1,000 people have been evacuated and nearly 34,000 homes were out of power over the weekend. Hundreds of schools will remain closed on Monday and officials have asked residents to work from home.
Australia has been particularly affected by extreme weather in the past few years, including catastrophic fires, droughts and widespread flooding.
According to experts, a vast landmass as large as the continental United States and surrounded by climate-driven oceans has been experiencing extreme weather extremes for millennia, including harsh droughts ending with major floods. But although some of the factors driving those swings are well-known, climate change is increasing the likelihood of severe rain.
Queensland’s head of state Annastasia Palaszczuk on Sunday described the latest disaster as a “rain bomb”.
“It’s just coming down the bucket,” she said at a news conference. “It’s not a waterfall, it’s just like waves of water coming down.”
Ms Palaszczuk compared the weather to an “unexpected cyclone” and said officials had not expected the storm system to sit in the state for so long.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the situation as “very worrying” and urged residents to stay in their homes.
“It will be a very worrying night in Brisbane as we are seeing the rain continue,” he said on Sunday.
Seven people have died since Wednesday, officials said, with six in Queensland and one in the state of New South Wales.
The latest was a 34-year-old Brisbane man who died trying to escape from his submerged car on Sunday morning. Others include a volunteer emergency worker who died after her vehicle was swept away to help a family trapped in flood waters.
Images and videos posted on social media showed roofs of homes submerged and flood waters touching the tops of traffic lights.
some have taken using boats to get aroundAnd footage of a man swimming in a flooded cricket ground quickly spread on social media, though officials have urged residents to stay out of the water.
The city of Jimpai, where two deaths occurred, suffered the worst flooding since 1893.
Beaches along the Gold Coast, near Brisbane, and the Sunshine Coast, north of the city – which are famous vacation spots – were closed on Sundays due to dangerous surf conditions.
The heaviest rain is forecast to move south in New South Wales in the coming days, where officials were already urging some residents in at-risk areas to evacuate.
The last time Queensland suffered a similarly devastating flood was in 2011, when 33 people were killed after several weeks of torrential rains. That disaster affected more than 200,000 people and caused billions of dollars in damage.
#Floods #kill #Brisbane #northeastern #Australia