Authorities in the Australian city of Brisbane are urging residents in outlying suburbs to leave their homes amid threats of approaching floodwaters.
Nine people are now known to have died in the latest flash floods to hit the northeast of the country.
More than 60 other people are reported missing after torrential rain hit areas west of Brisbane.
This brings the overall death toll after weeks of flooding in the state of Queensland to 18.
An ABC journalist in Brisbane, Meg Purtell, spoke to euronews about the threat of floods reaching the city: “There’s been panic buying at supermarkets. The 1974 floods are really something that have been etched into the memory of people that live in Brisbane. So to hear that it may go over those levels is really quite frightening. People have been out buying up supplies to make sure that they’re ready.
“The peak isn’t expected until about lunchtime on Thursday which is still a few days away. It will continue to rise in that time. There is more rain predicted so anything could happen in the next 24 hours. At this point in time we are being warned by authorities not to panic, to stay calm and just to be prepared.”
Officials say they have no choice but to release water from Brisbane’s main dam, which has now reached its full capacity.
This is the worst flooding in Queensland in half a century. The bill for the damage is expected to climb to almost five billion euros.