Australia floods: Torrential rain in Brisbane kills eight after river crests and floods homes | world news
At least eight people have been killed and thousands of homes and businesses inundated in flash floods across eastern Australia.
Parts of Brisbane, Queensland’s capital, remained underwater on Monday, with 2,145 homes and 2,356 businesses submerged and another 10,827 properties flooded above their floors.
Torrential rains have been battering the state since last Tuesday, causing the Brisbane River to overflow.
A man in his 50s drowned on Monday as he drove through floodwaters before sunrise in Gold Coast City, south of Brisbane, local police said, raising the death toll to at least eight .
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The bodies of the man and his dog were recovered from the car hours later, officers said.
“I think everyone would agree that no one has seen such an amount of rain in such a short time” in the region, said Annastacia Palaszczuk, Queensland’s Premier.
Emergency services have rescued more than 130 people in the past 24 hours, officials said, with the search still ongoing.
A 70-year-old sailor is missing after falling overboard from his boat in the Brisbane River near the city center on Saturday.
The crews are still looking for a man from Goodna, west of the city, and another from Esk, to the northwest.
South of the Queensland border, police are also looking for a man after he was heard calling for help in flood waters in the New South Wales town of Lismore on Sunday.
There are evacuation warnings to businesses along the river in Brisbane after a pontoon carrying a crane broke loose from its moorings upstream.
Local officials said the river peaked at 3.85 meters (12ft 3in) on Monday – 61cm (2ft) below the 4.46m (14ft 3in) reached during severe flooding in 2011.
Adrian Schrinner, the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, said the floods were “very different” from 2011 as rains battered the area for five days before the river crested causing flooding downstream.
Mark Bailey, the state’s transport minister, said major routes had been cut and train and ferry services through Brisbane had also been disrupted.
“We’re still going to have localized flooding in many areas for a few more days,” Mr Bailey said.
Lismore is poised for its worst flooding on record, with the town center flooding on Monday after days of relentless rain.
Around 15,000 people were evacuated.