18 January 2011


Described as the worst floods of this century in the history of Australia, the natural disaster that descended upon north-eastern Australia before the New Year 2011 claimed many lives. Affecting an area larger than France and Germany combined, the death toll stands at at least 31 people with at least 40 missing.

It is a sad way to send off the old year and welcome the new year with such a catastrophe. To think that just in April last year, I went around the CBD area taking in the night scenes and sights and was right there standing on the South Bank Parkland of Brisbane, overlooking the wide river and magnificent scenery and cityscape in the day. All that was under water because the dams could not control the flooding and the extensive damages were estimated to be at least AUS$1 billion.

The excessive rainfall was brought about by the La Nina event, which brings wetter than usual conditions from the sea towards the land, and higher sea surface temperatures causing extreme havoc to the people as well as the fauna and wiped out many populations of kangaroos, wombats, koala bears etc that drowned in the rising waters. Global warming is the main cause of this because with warmer air temperatures, there is a higher evaporation rate that results in a heavier buildup of dense thick clouds and rain over the inland regions.

Let's just hope the folks in Queensland recover quickly from this major setback of the new year.