Thursday, 13 January 2011

The Queensland Floods. (Updated Victorian Floods)

The past week in Australia has been a tough one.  For those of you who don't know, the state of Queensland is experiencing shocking floods.  75% of the state has been declared a disaster zone.  An area the size of France and Germany combined is under water and the floods are no where near over.  Town after town inundated.  An inland tsunami, an 8m wall of water, bore down on a valley with no warning and the death toll is climbing.  The state capital, and third largest city in the country, Brisbane, is being consumed by the unrelenting waters.  Pictures and stories out of the area are heartbreaking.  Families swept away.  The young 13 year old boy who told rescuers to take his younger brother first and lost his life in the process.  So many people still missing.  I'm lucky I can turn off the TV or flick over to something fluffy.  The people in those areas can't and will be living the nightmare for months to come.

Australia is a large country but we have a small population.  Most people have family or friends affected by this disaster.  We are lucky.  We have family in both Brisbane and country QLD, but they are safe.  My in laws are cut off.  Their town can only be reached by air and basic supplies are running out.  Mind you my FILs wine order came through on a plane.  There may be no bread, or milk, or petrol, but at least he has the essentials.  Sometimes you have to focus on the little absurdities and laugh, or the whole situation becomes overwhelming.

Ironically, on the other side of the country in Western Australia, they are battling bush fires.  Here in the far south of the country we are having unusual tropical humidity (the coating on my tablets actually melted off with the moisture in the air).  We are a country of extremes. 

If you can help in any way there are relief funds set up.  If you are unable to donate cash, say a little prayer for those who have lost loved ones and homes, and the emergency personal and volunteers who risked their lives at the height of the crisis and will continue to help others as the floods spread.  It's important to realise that after weeks of flooding, there are still towns bracing for the floods to hit.  In those areas where the waters are finally receding and the clean up begins, water born and mosquito born diseases are a real risk.

The official fund for donations can be found here:
Premiers Flood Relief Appeal


If you want to donate to help out the animals affected by the crisis you can donate to the QLD RSPCA here:
RSPCA

Etsy Appeal

The flash flood that swept through Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley.


Here's a link to some pictures of Brisbane's flood.  And a link to Grantham, one of the worst hit areas by the flash flood.

(Update:  Queenslanders are slowly cleaning up but many towns are still under threat.  Unfortunately, the flood situation is not confined to Queensland, with my home state of Victoria now 1/3 under water.  In fact, five states have experienced floods in the past week.

In the past week my family here is Victoria have bee affected by flood waters.  Whilst I am safe, many friends and family in the area I grew up in are still under threat.  Some areas are experiencing one in 200yr flood events.  Overall, this has been the country's worst natural disaster and is far from over.  Many thanks to everyone for thier thoughts and prayers over the past week).

My thoughts are with all those affected by the floods.
Michelle

16 comments:

  1. We are praying. glad to read your family is safe. I don't have enough brain function to type much more than this, but you guys are in our thoughts and prayers. Love ya!

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  2. So sad Michelle! I had grandparents lose there house to a major flood and it so devasting! I pray your family stays safe and I pray the flooding stops soon!

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  3. Miranda - thanks for the prayers. It's truly horrendous and encompasses so much of the state it's hard to comprehend.

    Cyndi - So sorry about your grandparents loss. It's weird they say just in Brisbane alone over 20,000 homes are under and you know that's a lot, but then you think that's 20,000 families and it really hits. Unfortunately the floods are far from over and many towns are still bracing to be hit. I've never seen it on this scale. As a friend said the other day, this happens in other countries not here. It's hard to comprehend.

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  4. We've been watching and sending good thoughts. You've been on my brain. I'm glad you and yours are safe. Now let's see if we can't help some of those others.

    *grateful hugs*

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  5. Elly Lou - thanks so much for those good thoughts. We could definitely use them. It's been hard to find that happy place at the moment.:)

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  6. It's so damn sad. I have family in Brisbane myself and I've heard they're ok but haven't been in touch with any of them since they're without power. So sad though. What an awful thing to happen anywhere. I'm glad you at least have tropical humidity rather than killer floods, dude.

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  7. This has been so scary. What a beautiful country, and it's sad to think of the people hurt, lives lost, and people who's homes and every day life have been destroyed. I'm glad you are safe from there, and hope you can get contact out to your family soon. *big hugs*

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  8. Hi Rusty,

    Thanks for writing about this. Being so far south it all just feels a little unreal.

    Another way people could donate money is to purchase and item from this Etsy store (all proceeds go towards the Queensland Premier's Appeal...items have been donated by Etsy sellers).

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/AusDisasterRelief

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  9. Veg - hope your family is all safe and sound in Brissy. Our relies have been lucky cut off but not flooded under. I'll take that humidity, but unfortunately my home state of Victoria is now 1/3 underwater with the area I grew up in flooded. Loads of friends and family sandbagging, evacuating etc. What the hell weather?

    Ash - thanks for your kind thoughts Ash. It's been shocking and continues as my state is now flooding. :(

    Emma - Hope you and your family are okay. Mum and Dad and my sister and her family are all round Ararat and I grew up in the North West so have loads of friends and family battling the waters now. I'll put your link up on the main post.

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  10. Omg hun I can't believe this! It just keeps getting worse :( I hope your family is able to stay safe and hopefully the flooding doesn't hit right where you are. Your family, home town, and country are all in my prayers.

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  11. Ash - thanks babe. It's so unbelievable here. I have a lot of family in country Victoria so we have been glued to the updates. For years now my home town and surrounding areas have been in drought, and now this. it's hard to wrap your head around.

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  12. I hope that your family are safe and that the situation changes very soon.

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  13. I'm so sorry. :(

    My small town got flooded in May, when Nashville flooded. It really showed how people work together for good though.
    Jilly

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  14. Sex, Drugs and Bacon Sandwiches - it's still an ongoign situation unfortunately but everyone is safe at the moment and that's the main thing. PS that may be the best blog title ever!

    Bad Glue - So sorry you've been through this too. People have come together which is good to see, it's just getting hard as it's been going on so long now with no end in sight.

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  15. Rusty, I am so, so sorry to hear about these devastating floods. Your video and pictures help to give us all an idea of the level of devastation. It's almost surreal. So glad you are safe, but my heart breaks for so many others. Thank you for educating us all, especially us dust-bunny watchers who miss out on some of the "real world" beyond their couches.
    Gentle hug,
    Diana

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  16. Diana - Thanks Diana. It's been a shocking situation here with the flooding and now there have also been huge Cyclones. The weather is crazy across the country.

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All who are lovely enough to comment should be showered with cup cakes, glitter and macarons. I promise to use my spoon bending mind powers to try and get that happening for all who are lovely enough to share their words. Those who go the extra step to share posts should really get a free unicorn. Or at least the gift of finding the shortest and quickest line at the supermarket on a regular basis. xx