Author: Daniel Munoz, Reuters, GLADSTONE, Australia

  • Australian military flies in flood relief supplies

    Military aircraft flew supplies to an Australian town slowly disappearing under floodwaters, as authorities warned on Monday that record floods that have devastated the northeast were far from over. The spreading environmental disaster is estimated to have caused more than A$1 billion ($980 million) in damage, has forced thousands from their homes and has hit the economy hard, particularly coal mining and agriculture. One person has been confirmed dead in what Queensland state Treasurer Andrew Fraser called a “disaster of biblical proportions”. Rivers in the state’s south have hit levels higher than any on record, and are predicted to go as high as 13 meters. The downpours have forced a string of mining companies to declare force majeure on coal contracts due to disruption to production and transport.

  • Record floods swamp Australia’s northeast

    Large parts of Australia’s coastal northeast disappeared under floodwaters on Sunday in a spreading disaster that has brought some of the highest floods on record and forced thousands from their homes. Queensland State Treasurer Andrew Fraser described the floods as a “disaster of biblical proportions” and said the ultimate cost would exceed A$1 billion (1.02 billion). As forecasters predicted months of more rain, hundreds of residents in the town of Rockhampton, 600 km (370 miles) north of the Queensland state capital Brisbane, fled homes amid rising waters which are expected to reach over 30 feet deep in coming days.