Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Drought and Flooding Rains

I apologise for the non-WoW material today, but I just wanted to get this out there.

If you read this blog there's a good chance you also read Tree Bark Jacket, so you may have already read Keeva's post about the floods in Queensland or seen it on the news.

I'd like to thank those of you who have expressed concern. Mr Ang and I and our families live in Brisbane where thankfully, while we have had plenty of drenching rain, we haven't seen flooding at all yet. For our house to be flooded, a huge number of other houses would be completely under.  The only immediate effects we are personally seeing at the moment are higher food prices and cancelled holidays.

But yes, much of the state is or has been underwater. Parts of north western New South Wales are also flooded.  I have heard several comparisons - the area that has been underwater at some point during the last two weeks is larger than the area of France and Germany combined, larger than Texas, of "biblical proportions". This week, more rain and thunderstorms are predicted in Central and South East Queensland.

Keep in mind that much of Central Queensland is farms and bushland and fairly sparsely populated. Even so, there have been 22 cities and towns and an estimated that have faced isolation, evacuations and inundation over the Christmas and New Year period, with the estimated damage bill tipped to be into the billions of Aussie dollars. Farmers have had to evacuate, leaving their animals behind, not knowing when they will be able to return.

In some towns, such as Bundaberg and Emerald, the waters have already dropped and residents have been able to return to begin the huge clean up task.

Others are still in danger. In the city of Rockhampton, the flood waters were due to peak today at some 9.4 metres, flooding 400 homes and forcing the evacuation of many more of the 75 000 residents. In Rocky and in many more towns, people will remain homeless for weeks, perhaps months as the clean up continues.

How can I help?
If you are able to and would like to help, the Premier of Queensland has an emergency fund that you can donate to at If you're unable to or don't want to use your credit card on an overseas site, that's fine too.

Before anyone gets too worried about climate change and so on - this sort of thing does happen from time to time here. Yes, this flood has been record breaking in several ways and has probably been worsened by this year's La Niña effect, but monsoonal flooding happens now and then.  The devastation comes from the number of people that have been affected by this flood across the state, with more likely to be affected as the water moves to the coast and down rivers into the south of Australia.

Thanks for reading. WoW-related material will resume soon.

More Information

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of drought and flooding rains,
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me.

Excerpt from "My Country" by Dorothea McKellar
blog comments powered by Disqus