Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission
In this image provided by NASA taken on Jan. 7, 2010, the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft captured this image of the inundated city of Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia. For Australia, La Niña typically means above-average rains, and the current La Niña is no exception. Heavy rains that began in late December led to the continent's worst flooding in nearly a half century, at its peak inundating an area the size of Germany and France combined. Rockhampton is the largest city affected by the current flooding. Torrential rains in northeastern Australia caused the Fitzroy River to overflow its banks and flood much of the city and surrounding agricultural lands. Both the airport and major highways are underwater, isolating the city. In this natural color rendition, muddy water is brown, and shallow, clearer water is gray. Vegetation is depicted in various shades of green, and buildings and streets are white
Australia's Brisbane a 'war zone' as flood smashes cityby Eric Bernaudeau
BRISBANE, Australia (AFP) – Australia's third-largest city Brisbane was turned into a "war zone" Thursday with whole suburbs under water and infrastructure smashed as the worst flood in decades hit 30,000 properties.
Shocked evacuees surveyed the damage after floods that have swept eastern Australia peaked about a metre (three feet) below feared levels around dawn, sparing thousands more properties in the besieged river city.
Queensland's tearful state premier Anna Bligh said relief was tinged with despair at the damage to homes and major landmarks, as well as the scale of the "post-war" rebuilding effort ahead in the city of two million people.
The swollen Brisbane River, which runs through the centre of the Queensland state capital, was beginning to slowly recede. But the nervous city was reeling from damage wrought by its worst flooding since 1974.
Central Brisbane remained a ghost town after office buildings ordered workers to stay away and power was cut to more than 100,000 properties in the region, as a safety measure to avoid electrical fires. The Brisbane River peaked at 4.46 metres (14 feet, eight inches) at around 5:15 am (1915 GMT Wednesday), below levels that devastated the city in 1974.
Residents breathed a sigh of relief as they woke up to the news that they had dodged the worst-case scenario. However, about 12,000 homes were completely flooded, some up to their roofs, and 13,700 were partly inundated.
Another 5,000 businesses were fully or partly hit, according to official estimates.
A total of 23 people have died in floodwaters that have turned an area of northeast Australia twice the size of Texas into a disaster zone, following months of heavy rains blamed on the La Nina weather phenomenon.
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Aussies affected by flooding are promised financial aid as more rain falls in Queensland. __________________________________________________________________________________ Reciprocal links:
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