Flooding in Australia leads to Mass Evacuation

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Monday, February 6th, 2012

BRISBANE: Flood waters rose Monday in parts of Queensland as the Australian state raced to complete the largest evacuation in its history with police boosting their presence to prevent looting.

Thousands of Australians have been forced to abandon their homes as a record deluge sweeps through areas still reeling from last year's devastating flooding.

Monday, February 6th, 2012

BRISBANE: Flood waters rose Monday in parts of Queensland as the Australian state raced to complete the largest evacuation in its history with police boosting their presence to prevent looting.

Thousands of Australians have been forced to abandon their homes as a record deluge sweeps through areas still reeling from last year's devastating flooding.

The area in most danger Monday was the town of St George, in Queensland's south, with most of its residents fleeing Sunday evening, although some 400 have stayed to help limit the damage despite a mandatory evacuation order.

Local mayor Donna Stewart said the swollen Balonne River in St George, flooding for the third time in less than two years, had reached 13.48 metres (44 feet) and was expected to keep rising until at least Tuesday night.

Forecasters have estimated it could top 15 metres, breaching the town's 14.5-metre levee, with fears mounting for other small towns south of St George, including Cunnamulla and Dirranbandi.

State Premier Anna Bligh said it was not looking good. (AFP)