Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Natural Disaster: QLD Floodings 2011

I'm dedicating a humble post to those whom the  flood effects in Queensland, Australia, because I do not think the world understands the severity of this disaster. This is for my family, extended family, friends, and guild mates who live in Queensland.

This morning 75% of the state is underwater, flooded, or isolated. Death toll is currently over 10 people, and there's still more than 60 people unaccounted for. The Prime Minister and Premier of Queensland are both stating that the death toll may rise. ABC (Australia) has had the best coverage of the events so far. Also, here is the QLD flood relief page.

The damage that has already been done is unbelievable. Watching this happen over the news and youtube is surreal. Thousands of homes are completely underwater, businesses are being lost, vehicles, schools etc. For some people their entire community has been destroyed. I'm not exaggerating here. The devastation this flood is leaving behind will leave months if not years of reparation in its wake.

Several of the flood effected people do not have flood insurance. No, not because they were not smart, but simply because they live within X distance of a river and the insurance company refuses to insure them. So when these people go to build new homes, they will be looking for help from the State and Federal governments, as well as relief funds from generous donations. Food will be difficult to receive for a time, since several super markets have been flood effected. Power has been cut in several places. I could go on, but you can imagine the amount of damage that has been done. I feel for the people who could not be prepared for this situation, which would be many people; who could be prepared for this?

Brisbane, Queensland's capitol city has already begun to be flooded, and is bracing for the worst. There was a flood there back in 1974, which was disastrous, and they have been forecasting that this flood will be equally as bad, and it's possible that things could get worse.

To get an idea of how large Queensland is:
Australia is 7,617,930 km2 or 2,941,299 sq mi. Compared to the US which is 9,826,630 km2 or 3,794,101 sq mi, including Alaska. Queensland is 1,852,642 km2  or 715,309 sq mi, Texas is 268,581[2] sq mi (696,241 km2). So, Australia is only slight smaller than the USA in area, and Queensland is a little over twice the size of Texas and 75% of it is currently flooded or affected by flooding.

Aka: OMG that's a lot of people screwed!

And here is the flood effected areas:

The floods are spreading south and are now effecting northern NSW, the state that I live in. There's some rural parts of NSW that was excepting to get an entire years worth of rain from one rain storm, according the weather man on the new last night. There's also flooding expected in Victoria, which is the state Melbourne is located in.

From top to bottom, far right: Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria. Keep in mind most of Australia's population lives closer to the coast, as the further in land you get, the more desert-like it becomes. Click to enlarge image.

I currently live too far south to (it's believed) be affected by these floods. However, it is a fear of ours, because our house backs on to a flood plain that hasn't properly flooded for the entire life of this house. This summer has been the highest river level in many years, as this area was effected by the drought that has obviously ended recently. It's been a very wet summer. It wouldn't only take a similar amount of rain here, as Queensland has received, to get a decent flood since everything is so saturated. It's a very frightening reality thinking that what I see on the news is so close to home, and a possibility for my own community.

"The floods may break out hearts, but it will not break out will." Premier Anna Bligh.

*Click images to enlarge/ find source.

1 comment:

  1. Watching it on Sky News, looks awful but actually knowing how big the area affected is makes you think.

    I think I speak for all the community when I say "all the best and our thoughts are with you guys"