Floods: center of city of Brisbane flooded
Muddy brown water masses on Wednesday, the Center of the Australian two- Million Brisbane city flooded.
The Australian city of Brisbane economy is experiencing a nightmare: the flood of the century has the tranquil Brisbane River into a raging torrent and transformed public life almost to a standstill. Tens of thousands fled before the forces of nature. In the north-eastern Australia were killed after various types of information so far at least twelve to 16 people by the floods. The Prime Minister of the concerned state of Queensland, Anna Bligh, said on Wednesday the death toll would probably rise. 67 people were reported missing.
The situation is also pursued by the Austrian Embassy in Australia. "Until now, no Austrians with the request for help turned to the representatives," said the Foreign Ministry in Vienna.
Throughout the region, dramatic scenes were played out. By the skin of a pregnant woman rescued from the floods and found with her four-year-old son in a makeshift shelter of Australia 140,000 Inhabitants City of Ipswich. She pointed to four bags. "This is all we have," she said. "All the things for the new baby - all gone. "
In Brisbane, the third largest city on the continent, the Brisbane River swept through the city and tore boats, cars and containers with it. Bligh expects losses in the billions. The peak of the flooding was expected Thursday. The situation deteriorated dramatically in the night Wednesday. # A third of Ipswich was under water. Riverside Bremer, the flood was the trademark of almost 22 meters. To keep the water level "above normal" meant. The water levels are measured from sea level or from the river bed.
"The water is rising and swallowed our city," said Ipswich Mayor Paul Sale Pisa. "But the important thing is that people are safe." Paradoxically, the drama took on Wednesday under brilliant blue skies its course.
In the flood of chaos in Brisbane, meteorologists hope for relaxation. The water levels on the Brisbane River should remain under the feared record level of 5.50 meters. Every inch of less flood meant the rescue of dozens of homes. In the morning, the authorities had still the flooding of up to 20,000 buildings feared.
It was so bad enough: many places yielded to the embankment. The Brisbane River flooded all the streets. "Rubbish, sofas, half walls of houses, pontoon boats with it, and all sorts of everything swam all the time pretty quickly become the Brisbane River down," said Dresdner web designer Torsten Schmidt, who lives in Brisbane. "People should seek shelter," warned Mayor Campbell Newman. "We have emergency camps for 10,000 people, maybe 18,000."
The first deaths in the city was a four-year-old boy who fell from a rescue boat and was swept away by floods, local media reported. In a talk show on the radio, a caller reported a house boat that had broken loose with two people on board froze in terror. "They are rushed through under all bridges," he said. "Then the water police are disengaged, to pack the boat and move to safety." As a precautionary measure in parts of the city was shut off the power.
Many supermarkets ran out of product because the people moored at the last minute supplies. Prior to the issuing authorities of the sandbags were formed long lines. "These are frightening times," said Prime Minister Anna Bligh, whose mother in the night from her home had to be brought to safety. "But if we remain calm and stand together, we will get over it." Prime Minister Julia Gillard promised aid: "We have to stand over the next few months, shoulder to shoulder with the Queenslanders," she said.
The Brisbane discovered in their hour of greatest need, a community spirit, many have not in the city thought possible, as Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said. "I was on the Duke Street, when suddenly the water came, and out of nowhere appeared the people we have formed human chains to save the most important things in one house. - and after a few hours it was done - these are very moving experience, "said Rudd, formerly head of government of Queensland.
In contrast to the chaotic conditions in some neighborhoods, the mood in the higher parts of the city was almost surreal: people who could not go to work, enjoyed the free day in the sun. "The streets in front of our apartment towers are now dry, I see people sitting by the pool and sunbathe on the grass. This is one of the two faces of Brisbane," said Tom Schmidt, who lives in a higher-lying district.
The damage of the devastating floods into the billions. Matthew Johnson, an analyst with UBS Bank believes that the impact on Australia will be more severe than that of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the southern coast of the USA in 2005.