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Australia lashed by "biblical floods" and bush fires

Queensland warned to prepare for floodwaters of up to 30ft.

FLOODS THAT HAVE forced the evacuation of 200,000 Australians and inundated 22 towns are heading towards the northeast coast of Queensland today, amid warnings that floodwaters could reach 30ft.

Evacuations are underway today in the town of Rockhampton where the Fitzroy River, one of Australia’s largest river systems, is expected to burst its banks, threatening 40 per cent of the city.

Reuters reports that the wettest spring since records began has wreaked havoc across the country, causing six river systems in tropical Queensland to flood, and destroying farmland and the coal mines on which many of those affected are dependent for their livelihood.

Householders have also been warned about the increased threat from crocodiles and snakes.

The Queensland State Treasurer Andrew Fraser said the flooding was of “biblical proportions”, AAP and the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Meanwhile, soaring temperatures in Victoria and South Australia have caused a spate of dangerous bushfires.

These images recorded by Nasa show the extent of the flooding.

In the first, taken in December 2009, the rivers are barely visible:

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In the second, captured on New Year’s Eve, the extent of the flooding in the six river systems is clearly visible:

About the author:

Jennifer O'Connell

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