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Flood crisis spreads to 5 Australian states

Posted by feww on January 15, 2011

Flood emergencies erupt in NSW, South Australia and Victoria

Flood emergencies flare up in NSW, South Australia and Victoria forcing at least  2,000 people out of their homes after heavy rain hit the region.

At least 12 towns in the northern and and northwestern parts of the state of Victoria have been evacuated this week and a dozen more are likely to be affected, State Emergency Services said.

“Floodwaters are expected to hit the Riverina town of Echuca early on Sunday after record summer rainfalls continued to cause widespread damage to homes, businesses and critical infrastructure,” a report said.

Residents in the towns of Boort and Donald, while several communities in central Victoria remain without electricity and water, the report added.


Source: Image from Japan Meteorological Agency satellite MTSAT-1R via Bureau of Meteorology.  Click image to enlarge.

“Authorities in Victoria yesterday called on all 1000 residents of Carisbrook to evacuate to nearby Maryborough as the waters threatened homes,” a report said.


Australia Flood Map. Source: BOM

Meanwhile, hundreds of homes in Beaufort, Charlton, northwest of Bendigo, have either been inundated or “were under grave threat,” according to the Victoria State Emergency Service.

“The SES in South Australia last night warned residents of Naracoorte, 336km southeast of Adelaide, to prepare for potential flooding.” The report added.

“And in NSW, about 70 homes in the border township of Boggabilla, in the state’s north, were surrounded by water last night, and water was flowing through the nearby Aboriginal settlement of Toomelah.”

BOM News Release:

Further heavy rain has occurred over Tasmania during the last 24 hours, focused in the northwest and, during Thursday, over the northeast. More heavy falls are expected in the next few hours before conditions ease with the passage across the state of a trough during today. Continued flooding of northern rivers is expected, and further localised flash flooding is likely until this afternoon, particularly in northwestern Tasmania.

Strong and gusty northeasterly winds will tend northwesterly during the day and may cause localised damage in exposed areas throughout the state.

January rainfall records in N Tasmania broken

Yolla had its highest 24-hour January rainfall on record, registering 131 mm in the 24 hours to 9 am this morning. The record had been set just yesterday, when it received 100 mm in 24 hours, eclipsing its previous record of 70 mm in a January day in 1946. Together these have given Yolla its wettest January on record, and its second-wettest 2-day period. Rain has been measured at Yolla, inland from Burnie, since late 1905.

Yesterday’s very heavy rain on the northern East Coast also set records. Falmouth registered 282 mm in the 24 hours to 9 am yesterday, giving it the wettest January day ever recorded at an official rain gauge in Tasmania. Scamander, with 278 mm, also broke the old state record. Rain continued to fall during yesterday in the area, giving some spots at least 50 mm more. There have been unofficial (but credible) observations of nearly 400 mm in the area in the last two days.

Meanwhile, NASA Earth Observatory released the following images:

Rainfall in the Australian Interior


Download large image (5 MB, JPEG) – Image acquired January 14, 2011


Download large image
(5 MB, JPEG) – Image acquired December 29, 2010

False-color images of Australian interior captured by MODIS on NASA’s Terra satellite on January 14, 2011 (top), and December 29, 2010 (bottom). “Both images use a combination of infrared and visible light to increase the contrast between water and land. Water ranges in color from electric blue to navy. Clouds appear bright blue-green. Vegetation is bright green. Bare ground appears in shades of beige and tan.” Source: NASA-EO. Click images to enlarge.

Flooding in Brisbane Suburbs


“Homes and businesses were inundated in more than 30 suburbs as [Brisbane River,] swollen by water being discharged from the overloaded Wivenhoe Dam, reached 4.2 metres,” a report said. A detailed astronaut photograph illustrates flooding in suburbs of the Brisbane, Australia metropolitan region acquired on January 13, 2011, and provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, JSC. Image Source NASA-EO. Click image to enlarge. Download larger image (3 MB, JPEG)

Zelia’s rainfall Captured by TRMM Satellite


Tropical Storm Zelia’s rainfall was captured by NASA’s TRMM satellite on Jan. 14 at 04:17 UTC. “The heaviest rainfall (falling at about 2 inches per hour) appears to be on the northwestern and southwestern sides of the storm and appear in red. The yellow and green areas indicate moderate rainfall between .78 to 1.57 inches per hour.” Source: NASA

Tropical Storm Vince


Visible image of Tropical Storm Vince captured on Jan. 14 at 06:20UTC (1:20 a.m. EST/2:20 p.m. Australia/Perth) by MODIS on NASA’s aqua satellite. The bulk of the thunderstorms are seen southwest of Vince’s center due to wind shear. Source: NASA

Heavy Rainfall in TS Vania Captured by TRMM


“TRMM satellite captured this image of Tropical Storm Vania’s rainfall on Jan. 14 at 04:22 UTC. The heaviest rainfall (falling at about 2 inches/50 mm per hour) in the storm was occurring in the western and southern quadrants of the storm and over southeastern New Caledonia (in red). The yellow and green areas indicate moderate rainfall between .78 to 1.57 inches per hour.” Source NASA

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