PARTS OF BRISBANE ARE BEING evacuated as flooding continues to worsen in Australia, forcing the Brisbane River to burst its banks.
Queensland has been affected by serious flooding since Christmas, and thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes as increasing numbers of towns were cut off by the water.
Torrential rainfall continues to compound the problem.
The flood disaster zone now covers three-quarters of the state of Queensland, according to the Courier Mail, and police and emergency authorities have been permitted to enforce evacuations, if required.
Queenland Premier Anna Bligh said that the death toll from flash flooding has killed nine people and a further 66 are missing, according to Australia’s news.com.au.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the country needed to “brace itself” for the likelihood that the death toll would rise.
Bligh also said she had been advised that the water level in the Brisbane River could rise to record levels, surpassing the previous high peak of 5.45 metres in 1974. She appealed to residents not to panic, but to listen carefully to instructions and authorities will be providing regular updates on the situation.
A map of the Brisbane suburbs which are at risk of flooding has been created by ABC News.