In Australia, vast areas of the south of the country have been devastated by fires, while in the tropical north, part of Queensland has been ravaged by floods and declared a disaster area.
In Australia, vast areas of the south of the country have been devastated by fires, while in the tropical north, part of Queensland has been ravaged by floods and declared a disaster area. The bushfires killed five people, and destroyed 80 homes, say the authorities. Three million sheep and 80,000 cattle are believed to have died. The floods in Queensland are the worst for twenty year, with hundreds of square miles of territory under water.
SYNOPSIS: The Cairns and Innisfail townships were particularly hard hit, and hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes. Streets were awash as cloudbursts added to tow weeks of continual rain. Damage is put at millions of pounds sterling (dollars) but no one yet knows the full extent of the devastation. Rail services badly disrupted and roads made impassable as the floodwaters poured down coastal rivers.
Small boats powered by outboard motors are a common form of transport. Those who risk their cars sometimes get through, but many don't.
The Queensland government is sending in food, blankets and tarpaulins but they will be small comfort to farmers whose crops have been flattened and machinery wrecked. Sugar and banana crops have been extensively destroyed-damage to the banana crop alone is estimated at more than a million pounds sterling (1,700,000 U.S. dollars). A massive clean up will begin as soon as the floods subside.