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1/21/2008

Australian Floodwaters Threaten Previously Drought-Struck Towns

Australia
Rising floodwaters that threaten to isolate two outback towns in Australia's north eastern state of Queensland are expected to peak today, as emergency authorities evacuate remote farms and build temporary levees. A dam above the town of Emerald, where a record drought saw storage levels fall to as low as 15% in recent months, OVERFLOWED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 17 YEARS Saturday. Parts of the town are expected to be flooded today and may be isolated if waters rise above its only access bridge. Residents in low-lying areas have been placed on evacuation alert and two-thirds of the state has been flood declared. The water has been welcomed by Emerald cotton farmers, who had a zero water allocation in the middle of last year, and are now guaranteed at least two years of supply. About 1000 people fled their homes as Emerald braced for major flooding expected tomorrow.

PHILIPPINES - Some three hours of sustained heavy rains was blamed for heavy flooding with Kagay-anon village the hardest hit. On Thursday some 119 houses were swept by flood after heavy rains. Residents are in vigil of another flood that may hit the village anew. The rush of flood waters started around 1 a.m., carrying along mud, fallen trees and some dead animals. At the height of the flooding residents rushed to evacuate to a safer place towards the national highway while the casket of a dead resident was tied to a large tree so that it will only float amid the waters and not be swept towards the sea. The level of floodwater into the village rose further as the Sinacaban River overflowed. The floodwaters damaged 84 houses in Kagay-anon village alone. Of these, 40 were totally damaged while 44 were assessed to be only partially damaged. Most of the destroyed houses were nipa huts. Assessment on damage to agricultural crops and livestock is still undertaken. In Ozamiz City, heavy rains drowned at least a third of the urban area on Thursday, slowing down business throughout most of the morning until the flood subsided around noontime. In some urban areas, floodwaters subsided in the evening.
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