The Australian state of Queensland — a state with the area the size of France and Germany combined — has been hit by flooding, inundating 20 towns and affecting more than 200,000 people. It’s one of the area’s worst natural disasters, and Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard has boosted emergency support, increasing rescue crew numbers and providing hundreds of millions of dollars in emergency grants to residents.
Three major river systems have crested simultaneously, cutting off towns. The swollen Fitzroy river has cut-off the city of Rockhampton, where authorities are doing whatever it takes to protect lives. The flood toll is remarkably low, according to Donna Field, from the Australia Broadcasting Corporation. However, the damage is heartbreaking and the recovery is daunting.