Floods and fires at opposite ends of Oz
It’s summer, and in Australia, that means full-on weather… This week, that’s playing out with severe flooding in Queensland and bushfires in Western Oz’s South West.
LET’S START WITH QUEENSLAND…
It’s been a rough few days for the Wide Bay-Burnett region, which is 170-400km north of Brisbane. In more distressing news yesterday, the body of a farmer in his 50s who was trying to rescue cattle from the floodwaters was found – he’s the 2nd casualty of the disaster. Police are also considering scaling down the search for a missing teenager swept away in the water on Friday night. Yesterday, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk toured flooded Maryborough and announced that former governor Paul de Jersey will lead the taskforce overseeing the cleanup operation. Further north, Tropical Cyclone Tiffany is moving west across the Cape York Peninsula after becoming a Category 2 storm overnight. Residents in the region are being urged to prepare for destructive winds and more rain.
AND HOW BAD ARE THE FIRES IN THE WEST?
Officials say it’s a “very serious situation”. The fires are burning in an area where holidaymakers flock each summer thanks to popular beaches and wineries. Eagle Bay and Bunker Bay sit on a peninsula accessible by one road – and it has been cut off by fire. Assisted convoys to help those who can be reached and who want to leave started late yesterday. An emergency warning is in place from Eagle Bay to Busselton, where an evacuation centre has been set up. Officials say it’s too hard to tell what damage has already been inflicted. “But once the area has been made safe, we will conduct a full assessment,” said fire incident controller Blake Moore.
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