More than 1,000 dead in Queensland flood event
BIRMINGHAM, Queensland — More than 1.4 million residents were evacuated from their homes and businesses as the state’s catastrophic flooding intensified in the past 24 hours, with the death toll increasing to more than 1 and a half times the original estimate.
At least 446 people were confirmed dead in the latest flooding that broke records around the state, including the capital Brisbane and the regional city of Bali, which was declared under water after the state and Queensland government announced it had declared a state of emergency.
About 6,000 houses were also damaged in the floods, including some in rural communities.
The latest flood surge also disrupted the flow of the Red River, which feeds the Brisbane River, and caused widespread flooding in parts of the state.
Flooding in the Queensland city of Brisbane was also blamed for at least three deaths.
In Bali , at least one person was killed when water flooded the coastal city’s main shopping and entertainment district and other parts of a beachside community.
People were still waiting for the water to recede, while the main hospital in the country’s second-largest city was evacuated because of flooding.
More on the floods:The Queensland Government declared a statewide state of disaster on Thursday.
“I can tell you this is a tragedy of unprecedented proportions,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
“We can’t stop the river, we can’t turn it around, we cannot stop it, but we can help make sure we are prepared to respond.”
People need to be prepared for what’s coming and when they do see the water coming, I’m going to ask the Australians to stay out of their homes.
“There is no way you can prepare for this.”
The state’s top flood warning was downgraded to a flood warning for some areas of the central Queensland coastline, where there is a heavy rainfall and the city of Ipswich was declared underwater.
But the Queensland Government said the floods are likely to subside in time for the weekend.
Queensland Premier Annamaria Palasizczuk speaks during a press conference to announce the declaration of a state, of emergency, to deal with the state of Queensland, at Parliament House in Brisbane, Australia, Friday, Aug. 28, 2020.
The Queensland government has issued more than 2.2 million evacuations from the affected areas, including many in the inland city of Sunshine Coast, where residents were advised to leave homes immediately.
Authorities were also ordering people in the state to stay home and lock their doors, while water-logged roads were blocked in some parts of Brisbane.
Residents were also urged to report any damage to the state through a national crisis centre set up at the Queensland Department of Emergency Management.
Some residents in other regions of the region were being urged to move out to safer areas.
A Queensland Police helicopter drops water on the flooded street in Brisbane’s central business district on Friday, August 28, 2021.
(AP Photo/Alex Ellinghausen)A number of Queensland residents who were caught in the flooding were still being airlifted to the Gold Coast on Saturday.
An evacuation warning has been lifted in the central state of South Australia after flooding caused extensive damage to a school, hospital and a mosque.
Earlier in the week, a large part of the Queensland coast was underwater with thousands of homes underwater and dozens of cars submerged.
It was a major blow to the tourism industry, with many of the major beaches being closed.
Hundreds of thousands of tourists were evacuated in the last few days.
Police in Queensland and the federal government have appealed for people to remain indoors and to keep their windows shut in their homes, but they warned people should expect to be at risk in the future if they did not.
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