Friday, January 14, 2011

Destruction In Queensland: E-mails From Australia

There's not been that much coverage in the local press on the dire situation Down Under, but just flip to any international news network and you'll be saddened by the devastation there. Unprecedented flooding has caused chaos and the loss of lives and property.

The hardest hit area so far is the city of Brisbane, Queensland. I was horrifed to see houses completely drowned by floodwaters. Loads of areas have lost power supply, and will have to do without power for at least a few more weeks. Most of the major roads have also been closed.

I've been to Brisbane a couple of times these past couple of years and have some very fond memories of the place. ...

And it's quite devastating looking at pictures of what it's turned into.

My thoughts naturally turned to those I know living in Australia. My cousin Bernie, aunty Doreen and family used to live in Queensland, but thankfully they moved to Sydney recently. I emailed them to confirm that they're OK, and here are so excerpts from Bernie's email:
"Two of the three places we did live at in Queensland are flooded. We know quite a few of the towns that are flooded as we've been to those places. Very fortunate for some of these places that this is the second time they have been flooded in the past month. Two towns which were just evacuated around Christmas time the people had gone back to their homes and had cleaned up and now had to be evacuated again in the past few days.

Some of the stories are really terrifying. One guy in his 20s saved his 15 year old sister by punching a hole through the ceiling of their house and pushed her into their house so fast the furniture and walls were swept away. Thier mother got trapped by the fridge so their father tried to help her but the waters just swept them away. They heard their mother screaming for help."
My biggest worry was for our friends Kiong, Shona and their family who live in the suburbs of Brisbane. We went to their home in May last year. Thankfully, I received news from them as well.
"We are all safe and sound. The area of Brisbane where we live was affected quite a bit, with flooding cutting off many streets around our area. There was only one open road out of the whole area! The kids' childcare centre was completely underwater - I don't think they'll be going back for quite a while. And a good friend's house was also inundated. But luckily our home and Kiong's parents' home were unaffected.
It has been quite a surreal time - I would never have thought I would see major roads closed completely cut off an engulfed, almost like an inland sea."
Let's all hope and pray for the best for everyone affected by the tragedy.

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