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Queensland flooding may take weeks to recede

Residents warned of contamination to drinking water supplies and warned to boil the water before use.

An aerial view shows flooded area in Chinchilla, southern Queensland state, Australia, 29 December, 2010.
An aerial view shows flooded area in Chinchilla, southern Queensland state, Australia, 29 December, 2010.
Image: AP Photo/AAP, Jono Searle

RECENT TORRENTIAL RAIN in Queensland has led to the region’s worst flooding in decades, and those floodwaters may take weeks to recede.

All of the residents of Theodore were evacuated from the town, and hundreds of Queensland residents spent last night in an evacuation centre, according to the Brisbane Times.

Bruce Grady, head of Emergency Management Queensland, said he did not know when people would be able to return to their homes in many parts of the affected areas.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has declared a further five areas disaster zones, bringing the total to eight. Her office told Global Post that 31 of Queensland’s 73 communities were receiving emergency disaster assistance from the government.

The Courier Mail reports that Queensland residents fear disease could begin to spread after contaminated water infiltrated their drinking water supplies. Health authorities have advised residents to boil all drinking water and believe it may have become contaminated with sewerage and the remains of dead animals.

Fuel shortages and access to food could prove a problem if the flooding persists. Another side-effect of the flooding is that sharks have been flushed into popular swimming and surfing areas by the excess water.

This video contains aerial footage showing the scale of the flooding:

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