Brisbane residents evacuate in mass

by Tiffany Millar on January 12, 2011

Thousands of people were evacuated in Brisbane as the streets continue to flood as heavy rain racks Australia’s third largest city.

The Queensland capital has seen hordes of traffic jams as residents attempt to flee the city centre. On Monday night, cars were trapped amidst the raging water around the streets of Toowoomba. So far, eight are dead and 72 have been reported missing. According to Queensland state premier Anna Bligh, among the dead are four children.

Serious concern is mounting as to the wellbeing of 11 of those missing after a night of unprecedented flooding. Rescue efforts are underway to find those stranded, lost, injured or missing.

Whole towns are under water this morning as the rain continues in the Australian state. So far, the heavy floods have displaced 200,000 people. Brisbane Mayor Campbell Newman said an estimated 6,500 properties have been destroyed or damaged. Many are saying the flood could the city’s worst as it begins to dwarf a flood from 1974 that left 14 dead.

Travellers are among those being evacuated and the authorities have advised those taking business or leisure trips to check with officials first about where is safe to go.

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