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Catastrophic flooding in northeastern Australia expected to worsen

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 4, 2019 - Duration: 01:19s

Catastrophic flooding in northeastern Australia expected to worsen

The Australian state of Queensland has been hit with torrential rain in the past seven days, with more than a thousand people being evacuated.

Rough cut - no reporter narration.

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Catastrophic flooding in northeastern Australia expected to worsen

(ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION) Major flooding threatened several thousand homes on Monday (February 4) in the Australian state of Queensland, forcing more than 1,100 people to be evacuated, after authorities opened up dam gates after days of torrential rains filled reservoirs to overflowing.

Emergency services tackled thousands of calls from people overnight around the city of Townsville, where evacuation centres were filling up.

"Last night was rough, but everyone pooled together," said Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill at a news conference on Monday.

Townsville saw heavy rainfall of around 1012mm in the past seven days, beating its previous record in 1998, local meteorologists reported.

The weather bureau warned of "dangerous and high velocity flows" along the Ross River after the flood gates were opened fully at the Ross River dam on Sunday (February 3), releasing about 1,900 cubic metres of water a second.

Even after the release, as of Monday morning, the dam was still at 229 percent capacity, holding about 532,000 gigalitres of water, or roughly as much as Sydney Harbour.

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