Sydney, Australia, Feb 28 (EFE).- More than 16,000 people have been evacuated and eight people have died as a result of the flash flooding caused by torrential rain since last week in eastern Australia, authorities said Monday.
A 59-year-old man died on Sunday in Brisbane after being swept away by floodwaters, Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said at a press conference in Brisbane, adding that officers are looking for “a number” of people believed missing.
The death toll from the floods since last Wednesday is now eight, of which seven have occurred in Queensland and one in neighboring New South Wales.
Up to 18,000 homes have flooded across Queensland, with up to 15,000 impacted in Brisbane city, while the Brisbane River has peaked at 3.85 meters, state Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said at the press conference.
This natural disaster has caused the closure of around 1,000 schools and a similar number of roads in Queensland, as well as the suspension of public transport.
According to official data, at least 1,500 people have been evacuated in Queensland, while in NSW another 15,000 people have been evacuated, according to the Australian Associated Press.
In NSW emergency services are working intensely in the town of Lismore, some 600 kilometers north of Sydney, where an operation has begun to search for a person reported missing, as well as in other northern cities of the state, the AAP reported.
The Bureau of Meteorology calculates that the level of Wilsons River, which flows through Lismore, will reach 14.20 meters high on Monday afternoon, surpassing the record of 12.27 meters registered in 1954.
Bad weather has prevented the military from flying to Lismore, where houses and vehicles are submerged, to assist in the emergency caused by these floods that have left many people trapped inside buildings, according to local media. EFE