This flooding is unbelievable!
Queensland is currently experiencing its worst flooding on official record. Days of rain on and around Christmas day have left much of Queensland swamped by muddy waters and over 200,000 people affected.
Queensland is a very large State and an area larger than France and Germany combined has been affected. Can you believe that?
Even though the rain has mainly stopped, the rivers continue to rise from the inflows of countless tributaries. The overflow is reaching low-lying communities in numerous towns and cities.
Our small seaside town was cut-off by floodwaters for a few days but we have been lucky and there was no damage to houses. Unfortunately the neighbouring small city of Bundaberg has been hit hard by the floods. There is massive damage to roads and other infrastructure, loss of houses, evacuations, and damage to crops and livestock.
The waters in Bundaberg are slowly going down and the clean-up is underway. Our local SES (State Emergency Services) has been helping with the removal of debris and the disgusting mud that comes with floodwaters. To top it off there is now the threat of disease from polluted waters, plus an increase in the numbers of snakes and other creatures who are escaping the waters.
The city of Rockhampton, with a population of around 75,000 has been cut-off and is slowly being submerged by floodwaters, which are yet to peak. The floodwaters in the city are expected to hang around for about 10 days!
The town of Emerald was almost completely submerged with 80% of houses affected and mass evacuations implemented. Many other smaller towns, too numerous to list, have been affected.
At least ten people have drowned in the floodwaters.
Thousands of people have been evacuated and many have lost their homes and most of their possessions. A massive amount of crops have been destroyed and livestock affected. Large numbers of mines are flooded and operations ceased for the next couple of months. The ports have ceased operations. This will impact on Queensland’s economy for decades.
All round pretty depressing stuff!
But one thing that really stands out for me is the coordination and skills of the emergency services (SES, police etc.,) in dealing with a disaster that is being played out on such a large scale. They are coping magnificently with mass evacuations, establishment of temporary hospitals and accommodation, rescues and information exchange. Years of disaster management planning in action.
The Queensland Government has a website (click this link) with information about the flood, where to get assistance if you are affected by the flood.
There are links to the Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal if you wish to donate money to help those affected.