Death toll rises in Australian flash floods

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Death toll rises in Australian flash floods

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Nine people are now known to have died in the latest flash floods to hit northeastern Australia.

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.

Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley were the worst affected.

Queensland State Premier Anna Bligh said: “There is no doubt that we are now I think, in a very

different sort of disaster, and what it is doing is testing our emergency response and it will test us as communities and as people. This weather, it might be breaking our hearts at the moment but it will not break our will.”

Authorities are now warning that floodwaters are heading for the city of Brisbane itself, where thousands are being urged to leave outlying suburbs.

Officials predict that more than 6,500 homes and businesses are likely to be hit. They 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.