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Surging waters enter Brisbane

Waters of the swollen Brisbane river roared into Austrlia's thrid largest city washing away homes, restuarants and cars, forcing thousands, including Indians to flee their homes.

world Updated: Jan 13, 2011 02:33 IST
Natasha Chaku

Waters of the swollen Brisbane river roared into Austrlia's thrid largest city washing away homes, restuarants and cars, forcing thousands, including Indians to flee their homes. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/13_01_11_pg16a.jpg

Surging from weeks of heavy rain, the river breached its embankment and entered the suburbs as the toll from the weeks of flash floods up to 32 people are believed to have died in Queensland state since floods swept northeastern Australia.

The roaring river waters shut down over 3,500 commercial establishments in the city and clogged all the major thoroughfares of the city of over 2 million population and the state's treasurer Andrew Fisher estimating the damages to run upto 13 billion dollars.

But the real big flood flood test, authorities said would come within 24 hours when the heavily swollen Brisbane river reaches an expected flood peak.

Brisbane almost appeared to be ghost town with roads and avenues deserted and homes without electricity. All commerce and shipping through the Port has been stopped.

The city's well known Eagle Street pier was completely under water as murky water from the drains fill the streets. A downtown stadium with a seating capacity of more than 50,000 appeared like a mini-lake.

More than 20,000 homes are expected to be hit as the flooding reaches its peak early tomorrow morning. City's mayor Campbell Newman warned that worse was yet to come.

A large number of Indians are believed to have been affected by the Queensland flooding. It is believed that over 10,000 students are currently enrolled in Central Queensland University.

State premier Bligh said: “If you start to see water in your yard, get out. Take your family and get to safety. This water could rise very, very quickly.

Some Brisbane residents tried to carry on as normal, with early morning joggers running even though parts of their routes were underwater. Others were distraught.

“This is my whole life, everything is gone. I never thought it would get this bad,” said Kim Hung, manager of the Salt ‘n’ Pepper catering business, as two friends floated a coffee machine toward higher ground.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard arrived in Brisbane to inspect the devastation and said she was deeply concerned about the impact on jobs and livelihoods.