Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Towns in Australia face once-in-200-year flood

Anxious residents of towns in southernAustralia braced yesterday for once-in-200-year floods, as the government warned the rolling flood crisis could be its costliest natural disaster ever.

Homeowners in the southern state of Victoriaraced to defend their properties from swollen river systems, as police in the northeastern state ofQueensland found the body of another flood victim in the town of Grantham.

The hub of Horsham, which lies about 300km northwest of the Victorian state capital Melbourne, is expected to be one of the worst-hit towns in the region, where more than 40 villages have already been affected.

“It’s predicted to be a one-in-200-year event,” said a Victoria emergency services spokeswoman as rivers burst their banks following heavy rains fuelled by a strong La Nina weather pattern.

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