Mass evacuations in Australia

2012-02-05 13:40

Sydney - Mass evacuations were under way in northern Australia on Sunday as record flooding that has cut off thousands of people threatened to engulf areas devastated by wild weather last year.

Authorities urged residents of St George, a town of 3 800 people in the state of Queensland, to leave their homes as rising floodwaters threatened to isolate the area, with time running out to shore up a levee.

"Significant rises upstream indicate possible above record levels by midday Monday with further rises possible," officials said in an emergency alert to the town.

"Residents are strongly encouraged to self-evacuate to areas not affected by flood waters via the Moonie Highway while that access is open and remains available."

St George has seen major flooding twice in the past two years, with the swollen Balonne River hitting a record 13.4m in March 2010.

The town was swamped again during last year's unprecedented flooding emergency, which claimed 35 lives across the state, wrecked vast tracts of farmland and inundated tens of thousands of homes.

Deputy Queensland police commissioner Ian Stewart said the situation in the region had "somewhat deteriorated" overnight with "very large spikes" in water levels south of Roma, where 200 homes flooded earlier this week.

"We are working on our contingencies to manage the evacuation of areas south of Roma and in particular St George," Stewart said.

"There are very large volumes of water in those systems getting to record levels."

Stewart said there was still time for residents to flee but forced evacuations were being "very seriously" considered to ensure resident safety.

The Bureau of Meteorology said St George was expected to reach the 2010 flood level by Monday morning and "continue rising, possibly above 14 metres on Tuesday and Wednesday."

Canberra dispatched eight military helicopters to the flood zone on Saturday to help with search, evacuation and resupply efforts, as huge rains swept across two eastern states.

Read more on:    australia  |  weather

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.