rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » Images: 'Unprecedented' Australian flood

Images: 'Unprecedented' Australian flood

Last updated on: January 11, 2011 20:17 IST

30 killed in 'unprecedented' Australian flood

     Next

Next
A tsunami-like tidal water waves ripped through an Australian valley, killing at least 30 people, including four children, as cars and trees were tossed around and military helicopters soared above to search for 78 people reported missing.

The "unprecedented" floods smashed through Queensland state as 150 mm of rain from freak storm turned into a raging stream, hurling gallons of water down the Lockyer valley, uprooting homes and trees.

Click on NEXT further...

Image: People are seen on the rooftop of a house in Grantham, a township between Toowomba and Brisbane, in this still image taken from video
Photographs: Reuters
     Next

More than 2 million people evacuated in Brisbane

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
The torrent, which formed into flash floods, stormed downstream towards the state capital of Brisbane, where authorities ordered an emergency evacuation of more than 2 million people.

"We now have confirmation of eight dead, including the death of young children," Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said. Four of the dead were children, some of them swept away in cars driven by their mothers.

Officials have said the death toll would rise "potentially quite dramatically", as families were missing and rescue efforts were hampered by heavy rain and washed-away roads.

Image: A man is lifted up to a helicopter in the flooded town of Toowoomba, west of Brisbane, in this still image taken from video
Photographs: Reuters
Prev     Next

The floods an unfolding human tragedy: Australian PM

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard warned the country to prepare for the worst after flash floods smashed mountainside Toowoomba, which lies 125 kilometres west of the state capital, Brisbane, the Australian reported. She described the incident as an unfolding human tragedy.

"We are very likely to hear of more confirmations of missing people in the next couple of hours," she said.

Image: A passenger in a car waves for assistance as a flash flood sweeps across an intersection in Toowoomba, 105 km west of Brisbane
Photographs: Tomas Guerin/Reuters
Prev     Next

City could not have planned for floods: Toowoomba Mayor

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Television images showed Toowoomba's streets turned into churning rapids dotted with floating cars, some with people sitting on top, while elsewhere residents were forced onto roofs as waters lapped at awnings.

Toowoomba Mayor Peter Taylor said the flash flooding that swept through the Queensland city could not have been planned for and was "unprecedented". Authorities say the flood threat facing Brisbane and Ipswich is worse than the 1974 disaster.

In 1974, the Brisbane River broke its banks and inundated the city, killing 14 people and flooding almost 6,000 home. The flood followed months of rain that had filled rivers in the southeast. When Cyclone Wanda dumped heavy rain over the region these rivers were pushed over the limit, leading to the worst floods of the century.

Image: A plane is seen in floodwaters in Grantham, a township between Toowoomba and Brisbane
Photographs: Reuters
Prev     Next

'Floods similar to 1974 Brisbane disaster'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
According to Roger Stone, a climatologist from University of Southern Queensland and Australia's representative for the United Nations commission on climatology and agricultural meteorology, said the La Nina weather pattern, which is currently pushing monsoonal conditions over parts of Australia, was the same as the one experienced in the lead-up to the 1974 floods.

"It's the same type of pattern in the Pacific Ocean. That was one of the major La Ninas. We had a similar pattern in 1954 and '55 and also back in 1893 and we've had a few slightly less intense patterns in the meantime -- 1988, 2008 -- and a few intervening years that aren't quite as strong as this," Stone said.

Image: Two state emergency service workers stand on the railway above destroyed vehicles
Photographs: Amanda Neville/Reuters
Prev     Next

Brisbane River on flood alert

Prev     More
Prev

More

The Brisbane River is on flood alert and already residents are being offered sandbags. Brisbane residents were being warned to prepare for flooding in low-lying areas.

The floods have been made worse by the Brisbane river bursting its embankment threatening 6,500 houses in the city.


Image: Flash flood sweeps across an intersection in Toowoomba
Photographs: Tomas Guerin/Reuters
Prev     More
© Copyright 2014 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.