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Australia Flood Update

Posted by feww on December 30, 2010

Queensland Floods: Worst yet to come

The cost of flood damage will probably exceed Australia’s income from selling coal

Climate Change Midterm Dividends

Australia is the world’s top coal exporter with an annual production of 333.5 million metric tons.

Source: Image from Japan Meteorological Agency satellite MTSAT-1R via Bureau of Meteorology. Captured: Thursday 30 December 2010 08:30 UTC.
Click HERE for the latest image. Click images to enlarge.

The road into Dalby (Queensland) has been cut by a sea of water. Reader picture: Anthony Skerman

Queensland Flooding News Highlights

The worst of floods is yet to come, forecasters say, as the cities of Emerald and Rockhampton are evacuated.

“Dozens of communities remain isolated with flooding at unprecedented levels in Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Emerald and a string of smaller towns as thousands of people were forced out of their homes, the Courier-Mail reported.

  • Shortages of safe food and water the biggest problem.
  • No end in sight for flood-ravaged Queensland’s residents
  • Disease outbreak now feared after flooding
  • Thousands are forced form their homes
  • A compulsory evacuation in the town of Condamine has just been completed, after the Condamine River reached a record 14.25m
  • State Premier Anna Bligh has said that flood damage to roads alone will cost at least $1.5 billion[so far]
  • “Hundreds of families across Queensland have been hard hit by the worst flooding in decades – in some cases, the worst on record,” she said.
  • The total cost of damage could reach 5 billion [blog estimates]
  • “[Flooding from the Fitzroy River in] Rockhampton is expected to reach about 9.4 metres by Tuesday with possible further rises.” The Bureau of Meteorology said.
  • “This is similar to the 1991 (9.3m) and 1954 (9.4m) flood levels. Rockhampton river levels are expected to remain above 9 metres for up to 10 days.”
  • “Central Highlands Mayor Peter Maguire estimates 90 per cent of properties will be under water tomorrow. But already 50 per cent of the town, west of Rockhampton and home to 13,000 people, is under water.” The Courier-Mail reported.

Quote of the Day:

“I’ve certainly seen flooded towns before in Queensland. We have big storms and we have big river systems. But I’ve never seen Queensland … with so many places in so many diverse parts of the state each affected so critically all at once.”  —Queensland Premier Anna Bligh


Meanwhile, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has warned of a cyclone developing over the natural gas producing regions of NW Australia. “The system is expected to move to the west and it’s got a reasonable chance of being a tropical cyclone on New Year’s Day off the Pilbara or West Kimberley coast,” a BOM forecaster said.

Issued by BOM at 2:57 pm WST Thursday 30 December 2010.

Remarks by BOM:

The low may develop into a tropical cyclone after it moves off the west Kimberley coast late Friday or early Saturday. It is not expected to cause gales on Thursday or Friday. Gales may develop along the Pilbara coast on Saturday as the system moves steadily towards the west southwest parallel to the Pilbara coast. By Sunday evening the system is likely to be north of Exmouth and continuing to move towards the west.

Heavy rainfall of 100mm to 150mm is expected in the North and West Kimberley over the next two days as the system moves westwards. Significant stream rises with local flooding is possible in the North and West Kimberley, refer to the latest Flood Watch [IDW39610] for further details. The system is unlikely to cause flooding in the Pilbara due to its steady movement.

Details for: Tropical Low 1

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2 Responses to “Australia Flood Update”

  1. Graham D. said

    Floods Halt Australia Coal Output

    “BHP Billiton Ltd., Australia’s largest coal miner by output and the world’s largest producer of the coking coal used in steelmaking, declared force majeure on some coal products from its mines in Queensland’s Bowen Basin. Anglo American PLC, Australia’s fourth-largest coal producer, also declared force majeure on five Bowen mines producing around 21.4 million metric tons of coal annually.”

    “Rio Tinto PLC, Australia’s second-largest coal miner, declared force majeure over four Bowen coal mines producing at least 25 million tons a year Wednesday, while Wesfarmers Ltd. said production was suspended at the northern end of its 9-million-ton-a-year Curragh operation.”

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