UPDATE: 10 Killed, 78 Missing
An ‘inland tsunami’ kills at least 8 and leaves 72 missing in Grantham, near Toowoomba, Queensland
The deadly flash flood which triggered a 9m high wall of water surging through Grantham, a town west of the city of Toowoomba in Queensland, has been likened to an instant ‘inland tsunami’ by the local Police chief, Bob Atkinson.
Mayor Peter Taylor who who thought his city was safe, Toowoomba is 700 meters above sea level, said:
“Torrential rain over a very short period of time came down two major creeks through the middle of the city which are normal quiet drainage ways and people had no warning at all.”
[Clearly, common sense does not operate under wet conditions in Australia. Moderator]
“It was just unprecedented. Some people are saying an inland tsunami, and I think that probably sums it up really.”
Floodwaters Surge Toward Brisbane
Meanwhile, residents in low-lying areas of Brisbane, Australia’s third largest city, have been urged by the authorities to evacuate their homes, as the biggest floods in at least 3 decades approaches.
The immediate areas threatened by the flood include about 9,000 homes and businesses.
Queensland 24-hr Rainfall Map 11 Jan 11
Source of images: BOM
Queensland Flood Map 11 Jan 11
Australia 24-hr Rainfall Map 11 Jan 11
“This has been a night of extraordinary events,” Queensland State Premier Anna Bligh told a news conference.
She called called the flash floods in Toowoomba Queensland’s “darkest hour” since the flood crisis began in December.
“The event that started in Toowoomba can only be described as a complete freak of nature, an extraordinary deluge that almost came out of nowhere,” she said .
“What we have here in Queensland tonight is a very grim and desperate situation.”
The Dead and Missing
As the floodwaters claim their 1oth victim (total of 20 dead since December) Ms Bligh says the number of missing people has been revised up to 78.
“Clearly as we get more information from families who are looking for their loved ones these numbers are going to fluctuate, but we now have 78 people unaccounted for,” she said.
“We have 10 deaths and we have at least 18 people for who we have very grave concerns for their safety.”
Finally what FIRE-EARTH has long been warning about:
Queensland: A Mega Disaster Zone
Ms Bligh said a disaster zone may be declared over a “significant region” of Queensland.
“We are just looking for an appropriate northern line and everything south of that would be declared [a Mega Disaster Zone,]” she said.
Latest Weather Observations for the Brisbane Area
Queensland Warnings Summary
Australia’s Latest Weather Warnings