Saturday, 15 January 2011

Flood update

As the great clean-up, using an army of volunteers, gets going in Brisbane and elsewhere, assisted by 1200 Defence Force troops, the Australian reports today that the flood crisis continues to spread, now affecting five States:
  • the likely death toll in Queensland stands at 75, with 16 confirmed dead, the remainder missing;
  • the emergency in Queensland now extends from the central coast centre of Rockhampton, to the riverside suburbs of Brisbane, neighbouring Ipswich, west to Toowoomba and the Darling Downs community of Condamine and through to the southern border town of Goondiwindi;
  • in Victoria yesterday residents of Carisbrook were evacuated, and as many as 50 homes were inundated in Beaufort, where the water reached waist deep in the streets.  Homes in Charlton, northwest of Bendigo;
  • in South Australia residents of Naracoorte, 336km southeast of Adelaide, were told to prepare for potential flooding;
  • in NSW, about 70 homes in the border township of Boggabilla, in the state's north, were surrounded by water last night, and water was flowing through the nearby Aboriginal settlement of Toomelah;
  • in Tasmania, the hardest hit areas are St Helens, Scamander and Binalong Bay in the North, but there have been evacuations across the State as dams burst and rivers overflow.
The biggest short term issue remains the scale of the logistics required: in Brisbane and the surrounding region alone, 4436 people are in emergency accommodation, and many thousands more are isolated by floodwaters in places running out of food.  Power is till out over wide swathes of the country, and in some cases may not be returned for months due to safety concerns.  And drinking water supplies are rapidly becoming a problem in many places.

And efforts to get food to unflooded Northern cities involves some very long and convoluted routing indeed.  Brisbane to Cairns is normally 1721 kilometres by road (1070 miles).  But the Brisbane fruit and vegetable market is still under water, and most of the main roads North are cut, so one routing being tried for food is via Melbourne to Adelaide (767kms), put on the train to Tenant Creek (2038kms), then truck across country, 1910 kms)!

So please, do keep all those affected, as well as the dead, in your prayers, and if you haven't already, donate what you can.

1 comment:

Andrea said...

And while it is natural for us to concentrate on those closest to home, please also pray for those flood affected in the Philippines (40 dead, 1.2m affected ), Sri Lanka (1.5m affected, 27 confirmed dead) and Brazil (over 500 dead, 14,000 homeless)