‘Rain bomb’ hits northeast Australia, at least 8 killed
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – At least eight people have died in severe flooding 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 hit hardest, with towns and cities lashing out and downpours slowly moving south to engulf the state capital, Brisbane.
Images and videos taken from the city on Monday morning showed the Brisbane River in spate and several streets in severe waterlogging, causing heavy damage to roads, buildings and vehicles. The busy roads were usually submerged in water.
Officials estimate that more than 18,000 homes have been affected across the state, of which around 15,000 are in Brisbane. More than 1,000 people were evacuated on Monday morning and about 53,000 homes had no electricity. Hundreds of schools are closed, and officials have asked residents to work from home.
On Monday morning, the rain had subsided and the Brisbane River reached a height of 12.6 feet. It was expected to peak again in the afternoon.
The heaviest rain is moving south towards New South Wales, where the city of Lismore is experiencing its worst flooding on record. Torrential rain on Sunday night alerted authorities and left residents with little time to evacuate, many stranded on roofs as floodwaters rose rapidly.
With emergency services being affected, some have taken to social media for help. Officials expect the city’s river to peak at around 46 charges on Monday afternoon.
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.
Of the eight people who have died since Wednesday, seven were in Queensland and one in the state of New South Wales, officials said.
The latest was a 59-year-old Brisbane man who was swept away by floodwaters while crossing a road on Sunday afternoon. Others include a 34-year-old Brisbane man who died trying to escape from his submerged car on Sunday morning and a volunteer emergency worker who was on his way to help a family trapped in floodwaters when his vehicle was washed away, then he died.
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 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.
#Rain #bomb #hits #northeast #Australia #killed