Sunday, January 9, 2011
Queensland Floods - The Big Wet
As many of you already know, Queensland is currently experiencing devastating flooding.
image borrowed from here
Queensland is a large state and the flooding is affecting an area the size of France and Germany combined (according to wikipedia). Germany is approx 439000 sq km, France is 551000 sq km. So thats about 1,000,000 sq km (Queensland is about 1,700,000 sq km). Just for a comparison, NZ is 268 000 sq km.
go here to see a map of the towns affected (we live in the right hand bottom corner in Kallangur - not affected thankfully)
200,000 people have been affected so far and the cost is estimated to be at $5 billion. Over 300 roads are closed and 9 highways.
For weeks, in fact almost all of the school holidays it has rained here. Queensland usually has a very hot and humid summer. This year its wet and much cooler.
Towns only 260 km from here are under water, to their roof lines!!! ...and now Gympie (which is about 1.5 hours drive from our house) is threatened by flood water and being monitored closely.
Today we are experiencing heavy heavy rain and there are warnings out in this area (Sunshine Coast down to Gold Coast) warning people of heavy rain and potential flash flooding.
We are fortunate, we live up high and Im pretty sure we will be ok. But watching the news every night of the places that are under water is - devastating. The rain and flooding is relentless.
People have died and are missing after getting caught in floodwaters. SES crews are working around the clock. Civil Defence volunteers are even arriving from NZ to help.
And this is following a drought of 10 years. You can never underestimate the power of nature.
So many people are unable to return to their homes, there are snakes swimming in the waters.. and further north, crocodiles too (eeeek!!!).
When people do return to their homes they will be faced with loss of their possessions, their homes, their precious photos and memories. The clean up will take a long time. It is very heartbreaking. In some places they are experiencing the second flood in 8 months.
So please keep the people of Queensland in your prayers.