North Queensland flood crisis worsens
North Queensland residents remain on high alert as officials fear a catastrophic flood disaster with more record-breaking downpours on the way.
The Bureau of Meteorology has warned that Saturday could be the worst day of the monsoonal deluge, issuing a severe weather warning for extremely heavy rainfall and flash flooding to drench the already soaked Townsville region…
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BETWEEN 1852 and 2011, AT least 951 people were killed by floods, another 1326 were injured, and the cost of damage reached an estimated $4.76 billion dollars.
Floods can devastate local communities, but they also impact the entire economy – examples include the flood levy imposed in taxes following the south-east Queensland floods in 2010/2011, and also inflated banana prices after the same floods destroyed 75 per cent of the crop.
Professor Jonathan Nott, a palaeohazards expert at James Cook University in Cairns, says part of the problem is that we “continue to build in the path of floods,” regardless of history, and allow populations to increase in low-lying floodplains. While we are “very good at dealing with emergencies when they arise,” he says, “we are not so good at mitigating against disaster.”
Jonathan says that though floods are damaging for our agriculture and infrastructure, and can be fatal, they are also an important part of natural cycles, and help to distribute seeds, animals and sediments to new areas…