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Disaster has struck in Queensland where the floods are claiming lives and homes are being destroyed. In the capital, Brisbane, people are being evacuated as waters continue to rise. It's the worse flooding for 50 years and it is anticipated that damage and loss of live will be greater than in 1974 when 6000 homes were lost and 14 killed. Already there are reports of 12 killed and over 70 people reported missing.

http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=floods+in+queensland&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a#q=floods+in+queensland&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=CWS&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=ivnsu&source=univ&tbs=mbl:1&tbo=u&sa=X&ei=DQsuTePiJcaShAebpcCOCQ&ved=0CCMQ8QkoAzAA&fp=f3e66d72ad4c6921

Heavy rains have also led to 80 deaths in Brazil and many others are missing.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-12171710

In the meantime in Haiti, twelve months after the earthquake that killed 230,000, progress is slow and most of the country's displaced people still live in tents. One of the drawbacks is excessive rubble, only 5% of which has been cleared. They've also had to deal with outbreaks of cholera

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/12/haiti-marks-earthquake-anniversary

On the Disasters Emergency Committee website (http://www.dec.org.uk/)

they are still calling for aid to the Pakistan Floods Appeal and the problems caused by Katrina are far from resolved in New Orleans.

The disasters seem to be happening much more frequently than ever before. At the end of the day they all lead to loss of life, financial difficulties, homelessness and in some cases disease and long term misery. Althouh there will be a unique set of circumstances surrounding each catastrophe.

The response often seems to be too slow, too little and too disorganized. Very depressing.

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We have woke this morning to see the full scale of the damage done in Qld. The floodwaters have reached their peak and although it is slightly lower than the flood of 1974 the city of Brisbane is a vastly bigger place then it was then so the damge is a lot worse. 20 000 home inundated and 13 lives lost. No power to about 130 000 homes across the region. The scale is amazing and the images very shocking. I just can;t imagine how they will begin to clean up after the water recedes - houses in Toowoomba wer literally sent rushing 100's of metres from their stumps, cars are piled up everywhere. There are still dozens of people missing - probably caught in cars or homes as the "inland tsunami" raced through Toowoomba a couple of days ago.

The fear in peoples faces is palpable and reminds me of how we felt in Victoria 2 years ago when those massive fire storms ravaged our towns.

These weather events are not unusual for Australia - it is the nature of the country but the heavier population makes them seem more devastating each time.

The saddest story I've heard so far:

saving his brother

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We have woke this morning to see the full scale of the damage done in Qld. The floodwaters have reached their peak and although it is slightly lower than the flood of 1974 the city of Brisbane is a vastly bigger place then it was then so the damge is a lot worse. 20 000 home inundated and 13 lives lost. No power to about 130 000 homes across the region. The scale is amazing and the images very shocking. I just can;t imagine how they will begin to clean up after the water recedes - houses in Toowoomba wer literally sent rushing 100's of metres from their stumps, cars are piled up everywhere. There are still dozens of people missing - probably caught in cars or homes as the "inland tsunami" raced through Toowoomba a couple of days ago.

The fear in peoples faces is palpable and reminds me of how we felt in Victoria 2 years ago when those massive fire storms ravaged our towns.

These weather events are not unusual for Australia - it is the nature of the country but the heavier population makes them seem more devastating each time.

The saddest story I've heard so far:

saving his brother

Brave wee boy, Gayle, what a heartbreak.

It's very scary that even in places where floods are anticipated that there can be such devastation. It seems almost impossible to prepare to the extend really necessary.

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849056-stuart-mcevoy.jpg

Brisbane city centre earlier this morning.

Brisbane is my home town. They are tough and efficient. They will come thru this. In times like this the whole community hangs together and works together. Our Emergency Services are well prepared for this as floods happen often. Last bad flood in Brisbane was 1974 & a worse one in 1890.

Search & rescue people & emergency workers from all over Australia & New Zealand are already there.

On a brighter note the flood levees round Grafton in NSW have held (so far --- fingers crossed) & the flooded Clarence River has passsed its peak

"It has broken our hearts but not our will"

-------- Anna Bligh Queensland Premier

"Ive lost my house, Ive lost my car but I still have my family"

.... Young Mum at a refuge Brisbane

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We have woke this morning to see the full scale of the damage done in Qld. The floodwaters have reached their peak and although it is slightly lower than the flood of 1974 the city of Brisbane is a vastly bigger place then it was then so the damge is a lot worse. 20 000 home inundated and 13 lives lost. No power to about 130 000 homes across the region. The scale is amazing and the images very shocking. I just can;t imagine how they will begin to clean up after the water recedes - houses in Toowoomba wer literally sent rushing 100's of metres from their stumps, cars are piled up everywhere. There are still dozens of people missing - probably caught in cars or homes as the "inland tsunami" raced through Toowoomba a couple of days ago.

The fear in peoples faces is palpable and reminds me of how we felt in Victoria 2 years ago when those massive fire storms ravaged our towns.

These weather events are not unusual for Australia - it is the nature of the country but the heavier population makes them seem more devastating each time.

The saddest story I've heard so far:

saving his brother

The stories and the footage have been harrowing, Gayle. Your PM has come across as very impressive and realistic about the days to come. Glad to know you and the girls are safe.

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Gayle,

I hope you are clear on the flooding down your way ...... Good luck

Thanks Oz we had a bit of a hairy couple of days but apart from a river running along the back of our house (some quick sandbagging managed to divert it from creeping up the wall and under the floorboards) we are fine. Woodend is fine - the creek was as high as I've ever seen it - but the surrounding districts of Kyneton and Malmsbury have been worse off as they have a major river and dam in their town. 2000 have been evacuated I think. We lost power for 24 hours yesterday but all is bright and sunny today. I feel so sorry for those poor people in Qld especially who now have the awful job of cleaning up all the mud and mess left behind as the water recedes. :)

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An old school friend of mine who lives in Sydney and whom I keep in touch with somewhat I admit, sporadically has been working in Brisbane for a while now.I heard from him today. He was evacuated from Brisbane on Tuesday and home in Sydney now safe and well. BTW, he was also evacuated from his home in Sydney in recent years due to the fires raging at the time. He said they were very near his backyard but didn't actually reach his home. Should I ask him to provide me with Lottery numbers ?

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Hellish times in Brazil, facing their largest national disaster on record with 540 people confirmed dead and scores more missing. La Niña weather pattern is still firmly in place and as we have seen has been creating havoc in Queensland.

Brazil’s new president, Dilma Rousseff, was quick to visit the worse effected places. However, every year there is a problem with summer rains and every year politicians declare a crack down on the illegal building and little enforcement of construction regulations. But nothing is actually done about it.

Rousseff has stated that the only solution was better quality homes for the poor she has suggested extending the government's low-cost housing programme. This is her opportunity to show that there really is a new Brazil.

http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2011/01/14/brazil-faces-worst-natural-disaster-on-record/

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  • 1 month later...

More trouble in New Zealand with scores of people killed, many injured and people still trapped after 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Christchurch.

A UK disaster relief team is set to travel to New Zealand to help with search and rescue work.

http://www.channel4.com/news/new-zealand-earthquake-dozens-dead-and-hundreds-hurt

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another terrible earthquake;

My heart goes out to these poor brave people

Fey and her family seem to be OK.

At least 65 dead but they expect toll to rise .

Searchers still getting survivors out

Kiwis are an immensely tough & pragmatic people and are performing miracles.

Urban Search & Rescue (USR) teams from all over New Zealand & 70 from Australia, who flew in last night, complete with sniffer dogs & all equipment, have been working throughout the night.

USA have immediately put all their "Antacrtic Airlift" aircraft which are based at CHCH at the disposal on the NZ Authorities as well as offering other aid.

We have told NZ we will supply anything they need

They have pulled out 20-30 survivors overnight incuding 1 10minutes ago.

More rescue teams on way from US, UK, Japan & Australia as well as 100 Singaporean Army Engineers who were on a training execise in NZ

NZ Herald

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My heart goes out to them all. I moan constantly about the weather, traffic etc but is just trivia compared to this. Why is it happenning ? One after another natural disasters happening in the antipodes?

This one was an aftershock of the previous earthquake in September, hingmie. Much worse though. Must be awful for those with family members trapped. You are right, we complain about so little.

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My heart goes out to them all. I moan constantly about the weather, traffic etc but is just trivia compared to this. Why is it happenning ? One after another natural disasters happening in the antipodes?

hear hear

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My heart goes out to them all. I moan constantly about the weather, traffic etc but is just trivia compared to this. Why is it happenning ? One after another natural disasters happening in the antipodes?

We're incredibly lucky in this country when it comes to things like natural disasters that lead to loss of life - they are very very rare.

As to why it's happening. I think it's purely down to the fact that this planet has areas of instability and natural disasters are going to happen at random times so that tehre are goping to be periods when they are more frequent than others. They are an inevitable part of life and it's how communities - large and small - respond to and cope with the disaster that's important.

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We're incredibly lucky in this country when it comes to things like natural disasters that lead to loss of life - they are very very rare.

As to why it's happening. I think it's purely down to the fact that this planet has areas of instability and natural disasters are going to happen at random times so that tehre are goping to be periods when they are more frequent than others. They are an inevitable part of life and it's how communities - large and small - respond to and cope with the disaster that's important.

Certainly a lot to deal with, Gladto. The death toll is sure to mount and hundreds of people still missing. A whole lot of tragedies.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/

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  • 3 weeks later...

Now it's the turn of Japan. "The biggest earthquake to hit Japan in 140 years struck the northeast coast today, triggering a 33ft tsunami that swept away everything in its path, including houses, cars and farm buildings on fire." - today's Herald.

Pacific countries have been given a tsunami warning including Hawaii, US west coast, Alaska and South America.

The Red Cross has warned that the tsunami could be higher than some Pacific Islands. Looks like a lot more destruction and misery to come.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12709598

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I heard the radio coverage today but have only just seen the media coverage, the footage of the tsunami is terrifying.

The earthquake was 8000 times greater that the the recent one in Christchurch and the biggest recorded in history. So many in such a short space of time. I am not sure what this indicates, if anything but it's a worry, surely?

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Yet more worrying developments following the Japanese earthquake, with the Japanese Goverment declaring a nuclear state of emergency and are reporting that there have been radiation leaks. Despite reassurances that this is not a major problem, I think this is very alarming! Can there be such a thing as a non probematic radiation leak? At the risk of sounding paranoid, it' you wonder whether information is being "managed" as they extend their evacuation zones.

http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2011/03/powerful-japan-quake-sparks-ts.html

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Yet more worrying developments following the Japanese earthquake, with the Japanese Goverment declaring a nuclear state of emergency and are reporting that there have been radiation leaks. Despite reassurances that this is not a major problem, I think this is very alarming! Can there be such a thing as a non probematic radiation leak? At the risk of sounding paranoid, it' you wonder whether information is being "managed" as they extend their evacuation zones.

http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2011/03/powerful-japan-quake-sparks-ts.html

It's reported in The Guardian that a disaster has been avoided at the Fukushima plant "by the narrowest of margins", harper: "the outer structure of the 40-year-old reactor building had been blown off by the blast, the actual reactor inside had not been breached."

However, I'm sure local people are extremely worried:

" It was confirmed last night that radioactive caesium, one of the elements released when overheating causes core damage, had been detected around the plant. The discovery indicates that meltdown, caused by a nuclear reaction running out of control, had indeed affected the reactor's fuel rods – although possibly only to a limited extent."

The International Atomic Energy Agency will carry out an investigation.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/12/japan-nuclear-meltdown-fukushima-reactor

Bad enough thousands of people dead through a natural disaster. They should get rid of these other dangers that can be avoided - everywhere.

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Terrible watching the news about Japan. In one coastal town alone there are more than 10,000 people missing. Looks as though some people have definitely been exposed to radiation.

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