World

Nine dead as Australian floods break records

February 28, 2022
Australia's third-most populous city Brisbane was underwater Monday after heavy rain brought record flooding.
Australia's third-most populous city Brisbane was underwater Monday after heavy rain brought record flooding.

MELBOURNE — At least nine people have died from the flash flooding that has battered northeastern Australia in the past few days, the New York Times reported.

Tens of thousands were rescued from rooftops with the wild weather forcing residents to evacuate their inundated homes and schools to close. The country's weather bureau has warned that further thunderstorms and intense rainfall will cause "life-threatening flash flooding" for a swathe of the central Pacific coastal region.

Australia's third-most populous city Brisbane was underwater Monday after heavy rain brought record flooding to some east coast areas, the Associated Press reported.

The flooding in Brisbane and its surroundings is the worst since 2011 when the city of 2.6 million people was inundated by what was described as a once-in-a-century event.

Queensland has been hit the hardest, with its Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk saying the rainfall over Brisbane had been extraordinary since November when authorities were considering water use restrictions due to a shortage.

Torrential rain pummeling towns and cities in Queensland began last Tuesday and slowly moved south to engulf the state’s capital, Brisbane.

Photographs and videos from the city on Monday morning showed the Brisbane River extremely swollen and many streets severely flooded, with extensive damage to roads, buildings and vehicles caught in the downpour. Usually-busy thoroughfares were submerged.

Up to 18,000 homes across the state have been affected, the authorities estimated, with about 15,000 of those in Brisbane. More than 1,500 people have been evacuated and about 53,000 homes were without power on Monday morning.

Hundreds of schools are closed, and officials have asked residents to work from home. Residents have been asked to conserve water after flooding knocked a water treatment plant offline on Sunday.

On Monday morning, the rain had eased and the Brisbane River had peaked at 12.6 feet. It was expected to peak again in the afternoon, according to the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology (BoM).

A frightening scene emerged on the river as raging floodwaters carried a houseboat and crashed it into a ferry terminal, causing it to sink immediately. A 70-year-old man on board was rescued and sustained no significant injuries, according to The Guardian.

At least two other levees in northeastern New South Wales overflowed on Monday and at least one additional levee is in danger of being breached early Tuesday, according to the BoM. — Agencies


February 28, 2022
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