News / Asia

Australia Forces Evacuations of Flood Victims

An aerial view shows properties and houses inundated by floodwaters in the Queensland town of Emerald, 900 km (560 miles) north-west of Brisbane, 31 Dec 2010
An aerial view shows properties and houses inundated by floodwaters in the Queensland town of Emerald, 900 km (560 miles) north-west of Brisbane, 31 Dec 2010

Australian rescue workers have started forced evacuations of thousands of people stranded by the vast flooding that has inundated 22 towns in the northeast state of Queensland.

Police on Friday moved the elderly and those living in low-lying areas from Rockhampton, where 4,000 homes are at risk from the flooding. Overall, more than 200,000 people have been affected by the rising waters in an area that is bigger than France and Germany combined.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard toured the flood-stricken coastal city of Bundaberg, consoling and hugging victims. She promised them financial assistance, with each adult eligible for $1,016 in disaster relief aid and children $406 apiece.

While some flood victims evacuated, military aircraft dropped supplies to towns cut off by the flooding caused by torrential rains over the last two weeks. Queensland Premier Anna Bligh described the flooding as "unprecedented" and warned that some communities could remain underwater for more than a week.

Northeastern Australia often sees heavy rains and flooding during the Southern Hemisphere summer. But the devastation this time is unusual, with officials saying the flooding is the worst in 50 years or more.

Tony Riccardi, Bundaberg's deputy mayor, told VOA the city has been inundated by more than 76 centimeters of rain since October. Riccardi said about 400 homes have been evacuated, and more than a dozen boats docked at the marina have sunk or been washed out to sea. In Rockhampton, officials are predicting that the flood levels could reach more than nine meters by early next week.

Still, Ms. Gillard said the "overwhelming sentiment" for Australians combating the flooding is "one of resilience." She said they "look after each other" during such disasters.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid