While the word "biblical" may seem like journalistic hyperbole, the reality on the ground for hundreds of thousands of Australians is pretty much just that. Floodwaters are spreading everywhere in state of Queensland after days of rains have overflowed riverbeds throughout the region. It is said that now more than half of the state has been affected by the flood. The rains have now stopped but rivers are still surging to new heights and overflowing into low lying areas as the excess water makes it way to ocean. Authorities have said that 200,000 people as well as 22 cities and town have been affected by the worst flooding in Queensland history.
The city of Bundaberg (see map) has been hit and there are predictions that the city of Rockhampton is next. Residents were preparing for the worst as the Fitzroy River, part of the second-largest catchment in Australia, was expected to reach nine metres this afternoon which will cause flooding in up to 40 per cent of this city with a population of 75,000.
The waters are supposed to peak on Tuesday or Wednesday but with estimates of surges of 9 metres, the town will surely be engulfed. Already the airport at Rockhampton has been closed as floods creep into the central part of the city and residents have been warned they could be isolated for up to 10 days as major highways into Rockhampton may be closed.
Flooded roads are problematic everywhere which in many places is effectively cutting off areas from outside help. Officials are evacuating people and the military has apparently been called in to assist with such evacuations. It is thought that some people will be unable to get home for weeks.
Queensland is a state in Australia located in the north-east part of the continent. It has an area of 1.8 million square kilometres which makes it bigger than France and Germany combined.
There are warnings that come communities could be underwater for more than a week and the eventual clean-up could cost billions of dollars.