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Australia: Outlook For More Flooding Ahead Of Relief …

  • January 11th, 2011
  • Posted by EUEditor

weather-australia.jpgClassed now as the country’s worst flood disaster, the Queensland inundations are expected to reach a peak in the capital Brisbane on Thursday (13.1.11).

brisbane-arial.jpgThe city of today two-million was hard hit by massive flooding in January 1974, residents being told now that water levels from that year may be exceeded. Nearly 30000 were evacuating homes from late Tuesday.

A protective dam system 80-kilometres upstream on the Brisbane River held off mounting volumes of water over recent months but is now over-capacity with large flows having to be released.

wivenhoe_spillway2.jpgThe crisis in the South-east corner of Queensland arose after the weekend, when a high-level atmospheric low that had moved out to sea, re-crossed the coast, causing very heavy rain.

Effects of the broadly North-South depression were compounded by its intersection with a Monsoonal low across the North of the continent; (see top map).

australia-map.jpgThree-quarters of the State of Queensland (area 1.85-million square km.), is a declared disaster zone; flooding is occurring across Australia from East to West; flood water from the North is making its way into river systems in the State of New South Wales.

Offers of help have been received from many sources outside  – including China, the European Union and United States – with already emergency workers from New Zealand and helicopters from Singapore committed to the field.

floods-gov.jpgTen people have died in violent flash flooding in South-east Queensland since Sunday with 78 still not accounted for.

The city of Toowoomba took some 150 mm of rain in half an hour.

The current forecast for the area is for rain to diminish from Wednesday onward, while the floodwater continues to build up.

Among early signs of the economic impacts of the disaster, exchange rates against the Australian dollar slipped for the first time in several months on international markets. The rationale was that an anticipated economic down-turn through loss of production and damage to infrastructure, would make a rise in interest rates less likely.

See also, EUAustralia Online: “Australia: Floods bring sudden loss of life”, 10.1.11; “Helping hand”, 5.1.11; “Floods: Is this really true?”, 5.1.11; “Home news: …”, 2.1.11; “Money: A$ starts 2011 on a high”, 1.1.11.

Pictures

Australian Government BOM; Seqwater; theworldatlas.net

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