After the fall of apartheid, nearly one million white South Africans left their country to move to Britain, Australia or New Zealand. Now the exodus appears to be reversing. Many are returning home, drawn to the quality of life, a growing economy and political stability.
Forecasters say the tropical system that was Cyclone Yasi is still churning over central Australia. More than 7 inches of rain fell in just a few hours overnight Friday in some Melbourne neighborhoods, with winds gusting to 80 mph.
A powerful cyclone ripped across Australia’s northeast coast early Thursday, blasting apart houses, laying waste to banana crops and leaving boats lying in the streets of wind- and wave-swept towns.
Australian authorities have warned people to take shelter with a powerful cyclone expected to hit the northern state of Queensland shortly. Winds have already begun to pick up and people are being told to stay off the streets. Cyclone Yasi, which has strengthened to a category 5, is feared to be the most dangerous storm to ever hit the area. This is yet another chapter in Australia’s trying summer, during which it witnessed the worst flooding in decades.
Flood waters have begun to recede in Brisbane and other Queensland towns, but officials warned it may be days before many can return to their homes. The death toll from the disaster in northeastern Australia has climbed over two dozen.
Floodwater swept down the Brisbane River on Wednesday and slowly submerged Australia’s third largest city, wreaking havoc for thousands of homes and businesses.
Brisbane, Queensland is braced for its worst flooding in over a century. Water levels are expected to exceed those of the city’s last major flood — in 1974 — which killed 14 people. Officials say at least 16 people are dead and as many as 90 are missing. It is believed up to 20,000 homes could be affected when the flood surge peaks at the Brisbane river on Thursday morning.
Brisbane, Australia’s third-largest city, is bracing for massive flooding amid rising river levels and heavy rains.
The Brisbane river is expected to rise 5.5 metres above its normal level by Thursday.
Tens of thousands of residents have been asked to move out after sandbagging their homes and stockpiling food.
Al Jazeera’s Andrew Thomas reports from Brisbane. (Jan 12, 2010)
Rescuers are searching for dozens of missing people after the latest wave of flooding in Australia.
A flash flood has killed at least nine people – now the capital of Queensland state – a city of two million people – is on alert after the river running through it, broke its banks.
But the worst devastation is in the smaller city of Toowoomba, just west of Brisbane, where 66 people are missing.
Al Jazeera’s Nazanine Sadri reports.
Australia’s flood-stricken northeast is bracing for more devastation.
After a week of unusually heavy rain, a vast inland sea has now formed across several river systems and is slowly making its way downstream to the Pacific Ocean.
Standing between it and the coast is the city of Rockhampton.
Rockhampton may be an virtual island-city now, surrounded by water. But just a few hundred metres from the water’s edge, it’s like any other Australian city, life goes on as normal.
Al Jazeera’s Andrew Thomas reports from Rockhampton, Australia.