Sun, Apr 02, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Australia floods kill two as thousands evacuated

AFP, BEENLEIGH, Australia

A kayaker paddles past a partially submerged house in North MacLean, Australia, yesterday.

Photo: AFP

Flooded rivers were still rising yesterday in two Australian states with two women dead and four people missing after torrential rains in the wake of Cyclone Debbie that hit the nation last week.

Queensland police said that the Logan River, which runs through Beenleigh, south of Brisbane, would only hit peak flood levels during the afternoon, while further north, the city of Rockhampton was also facing a serious threat.

Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said there was “still a major risk to the community around Logan and further south caused by that flooding situation.”

Rockhampton, with a population of more than 80,000 on the Fitzroy River, was expected to suffer flood levels not seen for a century and Stewart urged residents in low-lying areas to leave.

“By Wednesday, we will be at peak flooding in Rockhampton,” he said. “It will be a gradual rise, so I encourage people to move now.”

Queensland police tweeted “we currently have four people missing... that we have serious concerns about,” including a 77-year-old man.

Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from a string of towns in Queensland and New South Wales as the floods move south toward Ballina, cutting roads.

Police on Friday found the body of a woman who disappeared in floodwaters near Murwillumbah just south of the Queensland border.

A 64-year-old woman, whose vehicle was swept off a causeway on a property in Gungal, in Hunter Valley south of Sydney, was also found dead on Friday.

Lismore, south of Murwillumbah, was among the worst flooded towns with Tweed Heads, Kingscliff and Murwillumbah also subject to evacuation orders.

In areas further north where the cyclone made landfall, water and power were still being restored.

Bowen, Mackay and the Whitsunday Islands bore the brunt of the cyclone and about 40,000 homes were waiting to be reconnected yesterday.

The military has mobilized 1,300 soldiers for the clean-up with helicopters and planes deploying to restore infrastructure and supply emergency food, water and fuel.

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