World — 14 January 2011

Here is the sitrep on the Queensland flood disaster as of 4pm Friday afternoon (Brisbane time), 14 January, 2011.

At the news conference, Queensland premier Anna Bligh told reporters that the death toll had gone up to 16, with the discovery of a woman’s body by search teams in the flood devastated Lockyer Valley.

Most flood waters are now receding.

Power is back on in many places in Brisbane and in the Lockyer Valley, but a tremendous amount of clean-up work is still to be done.

Goondawindi – leevee is holding out so far. Fears of the leevee breaking are now of less concern.

Residents in Goondiwindi are starting to return to their homes.

The number of missing people has been revised down to 53. 12 people in the Lockyer Valley are still missing with grave fears for their safety.

Ten people have been caught looting so far. If convicted the penalty for looting could be as high as 10 years jail.

There is a monumental task ahead for everyone. Water can be seen to be receding on the Brisbane river. The river walk looks almost normal.

More water is still being released from the Wyvenhoe Dam, and will be released and monitored for the next week so the water levels are down before the king tide expected next Friday.

Premier Anna Bligh said a very sincere “thank you” to everybody concerned. “We have hundreds of heroes out there and we intend to recognise every one of them.”

Grantham is a small community of just 200 people where everyone knows everyone else. Survivors are traumatised by having seen people they know run for their lives only to be engulfed by water. Some heard people screaming from cars that swept by in the floodwaters with the occupants waving and screaming for help.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard, speaking at at RAAF Base Amberly, said the number of defence force personnel deployed to help will be doubled to 1200. This is the biggest deployment of ADF since Cyclone Tracy in 1974.

Meanwhile, heavy rains and flooding has moved further south to Victoria, with the Yarra River flooding over its banks in places.

UPDATE

There is a more up to date situation report (or sitrep) here: /australia-floods-morning-sitrep-for-jan-15-2011-887379.html

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David Harvey, Editor

David Harvey left school at 17 and went straight into newspapers as a cadet reporter. (He also a keen photographer and learned both trades.) He worked as a photojournalist in Hong Kong and as a war correspondent in Vietnam during the war. He moved to Australia in the late 1970s and got involved in I.T. during the mid-80s. This website is his latest venture here, combining news-gathering with the power of the internet. See: news-reporter

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