Flooding in Australia: authorities evacuate residents, 28 people died

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 Flooding in Australia: authorities evacuate residents, 28 dead

Emergency services in the Australian state of Queensland evacuated residents to higher ground on Saturday as record flooding caused by heavy rain hit the region's northwest, Reuters reported.

Police are conducting a complete evacuation of the city of Burketown, northwest of the state capital Brisbane, after the Bureau of Meteorology predicted river levels in the area would peak on Sunday. In Burketown, flooding topped a March 2011 record of 6.87 meters after up to 293mm of rain fell on Thursday and Friday.

In Gregory, a small town south of Burketown, the effects of the flood were not yet clear as communication with the community remained difficult.

Rainfall is expected to peak on Sunday and flood levels continue to rise. In the past two years, the phenomenon of “La Niña” caused frequent flooding in eastern Australia.

Hundreds of people sought shelter on rooftops and trees from rapidly rising floodwaters in New State South Wales, where flooding has isolated cities. Houses, farms, highways and bridges were flooded. Police said 28 people were killed in the flood.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, citing the southeastern state's emergency services, said on Tuesday that at least 200 people were evacuated in 24 hours in the hardest hit towns in central New South Wales. Approximately 900 calls were received asking for help.

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