The video: The state of Queensland, in Northeastern Australia, is battling some of the most severe floods Australia has ever seen. Constant torrential downpours since late December have caused three river basins to overflow, consuming small towns, killing at least 40 people, and causing the evacuation of 200,000 more. Horrified onlookers around Queensland have been documenting the damage with cellphone and video cameras; in one particularly dramatic scene (video below), bystanders watch as an out-of-control torrent of water washes away an entire parking lot full of cars in the city of Toowoomba. On Wednesday, waters raced through Brisbane, Australia's third-largest city, though they did not reach the levels some had feared. For many in smaller towns, though, the damage had already been done.
The reaction: There is a reason that Queensland's premier calls this "the worst natural disaster in the state's history," says The Economist; "at one stage, an area the size of France and Germany combined was under water." Australia's prime minister, Julia Gillard, sounded a note of solidarity, saying the entire nation is "standing with" the people of Queensland. "We've all been shocked by the images of that wall of water just wreaking such devastation in Toowoomba," she said, as quoted by The Canberra Times. "The dimensions of it are truly mind-boggling." Watch the incredible flood footage:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The Obama administration's nonstop incoherence on ISIS
- This is what happens when Republicans actually enact their radical agenda
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 6 super-helpful iOS8 tricks you probably don't know about
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How I dug myself out of debt — and stayed that way
- Why so many Christians won't back down on gay marriage
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- Mike Huckabee's head-scratching advice to Christian voters
Subscribe to the Week