|2011 already.......what happened to 2010?|
What a start to the new year. One half of the country plagued with floods and the other half fighting bush fires. Like most Australians I have been watching TV footage of the unfolding disaster of the relentless floods in Queensland and now moving into Victoria. The sheer scale of the devastation is overwhelming. Imagine an area the size of France and Germany under water and in some areas the flood level reaching 30ft or more. The inland tsunami that ravaged Toowoomba and parts of the Lockyer valley was so violent, one body was recovered 80 kms downstream from where he was swept away. We watched with horror as one family climbed onto the roof of their car , the mother and son were picked up by a helicopter, but the father disappeared before they could go back for him. The statistics are mind blowing with figures of 70 million tons of water in 74 hours flooding Brisbane, 7,000 insurance claims worth an estimated $365 million, (but many are not covered for river encroachment so face a lenghty battle for compensation). It will cost the nation 30 billion dollars to rebuild and restore. But forget the statistics and get back to the human cost. So far 20 dead and many more missing, most of them from the small village of Grantham, where whole houses were swept away, farms decimated, livestock drowned . For many of the victims they face an uncertain future, mortgages still have to be paid for homes that are no longer habitable or just not there. The cost in human suffering is incalculable. Families and communities in the rural areas are close knit and one loss affects everybody. In the midst of this terrible tragedy there are stories of tremendous courage. One young boy insisting they save his brother first, he and his mother were then swept away before they could be helped. Strangers risking their own lives to save people trapped in cars. Parents pushing their kids onto the roof of their home for safety only to be dragged under by the raging flood before they could pull themselves up.
|A couple of the more exotic of the species|
|Warm feet and warm hearts!|