//
you're reading...
Australian Current Affairs

Australian military responds to storm crisis in Brisbane


Brisbane FloodBrisbane will flood for the second time in three years, with Premier Campbell Newman revealing last night that nothing can stop the city’s river breaking its banks and inundating thousands of properties as a powerful storm continues to batter the east coast.

More than 3600 houses and residential unit lots would be affected, though not all would have water through the premises.

A further 1250 business properties would be affected over the coming days, although the Premier insisted the flood would be smaller than the 2011 disaster that inundated 20,000 properties.

Mr Newman made the announcement as Brisbane was being lashed by a cyclone-strength storm that had carved a path of destruction through Queensland coastal communities, killing up to four people, flooding hundreds of homes and leaving tens of thousands without power in a disaster set to rival the state’s flood crisis two years ago.

The storm – a tropical low that was initially rated as category-one Cyclone Oswald when it formed in the Gulf of Carpentaria last week – has lashed parts of Queensland with winds of more than 100km/h, mini-tornadoes and more than 300mm of rainfall in 24 hours.

The flood and storm emergency covered more than 1000km of coastline, from the industrial city of Gladstone, 550km north of Brisbane, where 40 homes were flooded, to Maryborough, 300km southeast, where homes were under threat.

The storm will continue to move south through NSW today, with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting downpours of more than 200mm around Coffs Harbour and Grafton, as much as 150mm in Sydney and heavy rain to the Victorian border.

The storm took its first life yesterday, with confirmation that an 81-year-old man had drowned off Burrum Heads, near Bundaberg, while trying to secure his yacht.

Mr Newman said grave fears were held for a woman who drove into floodwaters at Pacific Haven, near Maryborough.

A motorcyclist has been swept off a bridge into a flooded creek at Greenbank about 11pm yesterday. Members of the public tried to get a rope to the man, but this was unsuccessful and he was washed down stream. A search will resume this morning.

A man, 27, disappeared in raging Widgee Creek west of Gympie after his car, with two others inside, was washed off a crossing. His companions were saved by swiftwater rescuers who lost their own boat during the drama.

And fears were mounting for a fisherman who has been missing off Rockhampton since Thursday, after radioing that his boat was taking on water.

As flood emergencies gripped the towns of Bundaberg, Maryborough and communities across the Sunshine Coast last night, Julia Gillard and her deputy, Wayne Swan, said the thoughts of the nation were with Queensland as it again battled natural disaster.

Tony Abbott said the emergency services were doing all they could to keep people safe.

The Treasurer said the Commonwealth Disaster Plan had been activated to provide military support, and soldiers were ready to be deployed along with the Townsville-based Black Hawk helicopters sent to Bundaberg last night, where emergency evacuations were under way as the swollen Burnett River threatened more than 400 homes and business properties. “The full assets of the defence forces are on stand-by if required,” Mr Swan said.

Andrew Coones and his wife, Michelle, were devastated yesterday to see their modest home at Bargara, east of Bundaberg, destroyed by the tornado that battered their town.

Mr Coones had taken his son for a drive before the worst and returned to find the room in which his son lived with his girlfriend wrecked with debris and glass from a broken window strewn across the bed. “I was so lucky I did take them for a drive,” Mr Coones told the Ten Network.

The town of Grantham, epicentre of the deadly “inland tsunami” two years ago in the Lockyer Valley that killed 12 of its residents, also flooded, with 1m of water reported to be churning through its main street. An evacuation centre was activated at nearby Laidley. “After 2011, everyone is very emotional in the valley, particularly in Grantham,” Lockyer Mayor Steve Jones said.

Another emergency was in progress inland of the Great Dividing Range at Dalby, 215km northwest of Brisbane, where police were doorknocking homes urging people to evacuate.

The Insurance Council of Australia declared a state of catastrophe.

As conditions deteriorated in Brisbane, with rain falling at the rate of 50mm an hour and more than 58,000 homes blacked out across the region, Mr Newman said: “‘We are right in the middle of this now.”

The Bremer River in Ipswich was forecast to peak at 14.45m at midnight tonight, half a metre less than the mark two years ago, while the river would rise to 2.66m in Brisbane CBD at midday tomorrow, well short of the flood’s 4.46m height two years ago.

Secondary flood peaks are predicted to strike a day later, but would be no higher.

Properties “from a whole range of suburbs” would be affected, Mr Newman warned.

He said the forecast flooding in Brisbane and Ipswich was due to inflows into the Bremer River and Lockyer Creek, which drain into Brisbane River below Wivenhoe Dam, the cities’ flood shield.

“They cannot be controlled – we have to take the water as the elements deal it up to us,” he said.

“Unfortunately, there will be flooding, but the flooding will be much, much lower that what we saw in 2011.”

Despite the threat to the population centres of Brisbane and the Gold Coast, the focus was on Bundaberg as emergency crews raced the rising Burnett River to clear people from the danger zone in the town’s north and east before the Burnett peaked at 9.4m, surpassing the level that caused devastating flooding in 2010.

A state government emergency declaration was in force last night to empower police and SES personnel to order people out of their homes if they refused to leave.

Floodwater invaded the main street of the Sunshine Coast centre of Nambour, and 23,000 homes were without power. Beaches were pounded by massive waves. Brisbane’s Kedron Brook was in full flood and threatening homes.

There were reports a tornado had touched down near Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast, revisiting Saturday’s chaos in which a string of twisters generated by the cyclonic low pressure system slammed into Burnett Heads, Bargara beach, coastal Coonarr and Bungadoo near Bundaberg.

Mr Newman said state agency SEQWater was continuing to release water from Wivenhoe Dam at the rate of about 1000cu m/second, in accordance with “its legal responsibilities” to manage the flood risk to Brisbane.

Source: The Australian “Military responds to storm crisis”
 

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

Discussion

One thought on “Australian military responds to storm crisis in Brisbane

  1. Mother Nature … is powerful and cruel!

    Posted by viveka | January 28, 2013, 23:35

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

If you liked what you just read, click "Subscribe" to become a follower of the Craig Hill site. You will receive an email each time a new post is published.

Join 15,358 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

Most Recent Posts Post on My Blog About China: China News

United States outmanoeuvres Russia once again? 

United States outmanoeuvres Russia once again? 

In a recent briefing, the US Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Avril Haines warned, “I would characterize it as the Russians aren’t winning, and the Ukrainians aren’t winning, and we’re at a bit of a stalemate here.” So, where is the Russia-Ukraine war heading? What is Russian President Putin planning next? Is Europe ready for […]

China is defying global order to expand power, US admiral warns

China is defying global order to expand power, US admiral warns

The Chinese Communist Party and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) are destabilizing international order in an effort to expand their global power, Adm. John Aquilino, commander of the Indo-Pacific Command, warned lawmakers during a House hearing on Tuesday. In his written testimony submitted to the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, Adm. Aquilino explained that the Department […]

China – Autocracy and decoupling technical tests

China – Autocracy and decoupling technical tests

We have noticed that the embrace with China had become suffocating in the last twenty years. The West universe of consumers and China the factory of the world. We started with modest and low value-added materials and products, to refine the trajectory and revolution to the most refined and complex technologies, such as 5G and […]

Four ways China is growing its media influence in Southeast Asia

Four ways China is growing its media influence in Southeast Asia

As President Biden welcomes leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to a special summit this week in Washington, D.C., his administration is affirming Beijing as the U.S.’s main rival and underscoring the region’s importance in U.S.-China competition. The two-day event is part of the U.S effort to woo ASEAN members caught in a […]

Confronting Russia will deter China, says Japanese defense minister

Confronting Russia will deter China, says Japanese defense minister

A strong international response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine is critical to deterring China from embarking on territorial conquests in Taiwan or the South China Sea, said Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi. “China has been carefully observing the current situation of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and they are paying particularly close attention to what […]

How Russia-Ukraine copied Finland war without lessons

How Russia-Ukraine copied Finland war without lessons

Finland is a unique country with a distinct language and culture. However, its possession was always contested between Sweden and Russia. Though Finland mainly remained under Swedish control in 1809, it was annexed by Russia. Using the end of World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution in late 1917, Finland declared its independence from the […]

China plans system to take out asteroids hurtling toward earth

China plans system to take out asteroids hurtling toward earth

China plans to develop a system for monitoring asteroids that pose a threat to earth, highlighting the nation’s growing ambitions for its space program. The country will also explore ways for taking out asteroids that endanger the planet, Wu Yanhua, deputy director of the China National Space Administration, said in a TV interview, according to […]

Russia-Japan tensions flare anew over the Kurils

Russia-Japan tensions flare anew over the Kurils

Formally, Russia is not at war with Ukraine, where it claims to be conducting a so-called “special military operation.” But with Japan, given that Moscow and Tokyo never signed a peace treaty officially ending World War II, the two Asian neighbors remain technically at war. And after Japan recently described four Kuril islands whose ownership […]

Solomon Islands has Washington in state of alarm after a security pact with China

Solomon Islands has Washington in state of alarm after a security pact with  China

A tiny island chain in the South Pacific has Western governments scrambling after it agreed to a security pact with China that the United States and its allies fear could enhance Beijing’s military power in this strategically important region.  The deal between China and the Solomon Islands, a nation of 700,000 people that had deadly […]

China says its ‘future helicopters’ will be equipped with ground-breaking technologies

China says its ‘future helicopters’ will be equipped with ground-breaking technologies

Militaries all around the world are looking at integrating modern technology into their military weapons. China, as usual, appears to be making serious efforts to prepare for the future battleground, this time, with plans to include artificial intelligence and high-speed features in its future choppers. During a recent public lecture, a prominent Chinese military helicopter […]

%d bloggers like this: