Asia-Pacific News

Australia Flood Disaster

Geraldine Tan|CNBC Asia Pacific

Australia Flood Disaster

Getty Images

The devastating floods, Australia, which killed at least 30 people and sent tens of thousands fleeing from their homes, have been described as a disaster ''of biblical proportions'' by a local politician.

The devastation has affected 22 towns and cities across the Queensland state, flooded mines and brought the country’s third biggest city, Brisbane, to a standstill.

The catastrophe is now threatening to inundate the southeast state of Victoria, with rising floodwaters threatening hundreds of homes, amid the state's worst floods in 15 years.

Estimates for the total cost of damage and lost revenue from the flooding that have grown to nearly $20 billion.

Economists expect rebuilding to take years.

These are images captured from the floods.

By: Geraldine Tan
Updated on 24 January 2011

First posted 12 January 2011

Australia Flood Disaster

An aerial view of a go-kart track inundated by flood water on January 19, 2011 in Horsham, Australia. Evacuations have been ordered in several western and north-western Victorian towns as they brace for the worst flooding in over 200 years.
Photo: Getty Images

An aerial view of a go-kart track inundated by flood water on January 19, 2011 in Horsham, Australia. Evacuations have been ordered in several western and north-western Victorian towns as they brace for the worst flooding in over 200 years.

Australia Flood Disaster

Flood water levels are shown on the wall of a Child care centre in the suburb of St Lucia  in Brisbane, Australia.
Photo: Getty Images

Flood water levels are shown on the wall of a Child care centre in the suburb of St Lucia  in Brisbane, Australia.

Australia Flood Disaster

A local Maroochydore resident walks in torrential rain on January 11, 2011 on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. 8 people so far have been confirmed dead in towns in the Lockyer Valley and over 70 are still reported missing after devastating floods inundated the region. Evacuations are underway in several towns and suburbs in and around Brisbane with residents and emergency services fearing the worst floods in over 35 years.
Getty Images

A local resident walks in torrential rain in the Sunshine Coast, Australia. Over a dozen people have been confirmed dead and over 70 are still reported missing after devastating floods inundated the region.

Australia Flood Disaster

Business owners clear out their shops in preperation for high flood waters on January 11, 2011 in Brisbane, Australia. 8 people so far have been confirmed dead in towns in the Lockyer Valley and over 70 are still reported missing after devastating floods inundated the region. Evacuations are underway in several towns and suburbs in and around Brisbane with residents and emergency services fearing the worst floods in over 35 years.
Photo: Getty Images

Business owners clear out their shops in preperation for high flood waters in Brisbane, Australia.

Australia Flood Disaster

People watch on as a street in the inner city suburb of West End floods as the river burst its banks on January 11, 2011 in Brisbane, Australia. 8 people so far have been confirmed dead in towns in the Lockyer Valley and over 70 are still reported missing after devastating floods inundated the region. Evacuations are underway in several towns and suburbs in and around Brisbane with residents and emergency services fearing the worst floods in over 35 years.
Photo: Getty Images

People watch on as a street in the inner city suburb of West End floods as the river burst its banks in Brisbane, Australia.

Australia Flood Disaster

A road is covered by rising water in the Bremer River on January 11, 2011 in Ispwich, Australia. 8 people so far have been confirmed dead in towns in the Lockyer Valley and over 70 are still reported missing after devastating floods inundated the region. Evacuations are underway in several towns and suburbs in and around Brisbane with residents and emergency services fearing the worst floods in over 35 years.
Photo: Getty Images

A road is covered by rising water in the Bremer River in Ispwich, Australia.

Australia Flood Disaster

An abandoned four-wheel-drive sits in a flooded street on January 11, 2011 in Oakey, Australia. 10 people so far have been confirmed dead in towns in the Lockyer Valley and over 70 are still reported missing after devastating floods inundated the region. Evacuations are underway in several towns and suburbs in and around Brisbane with residents and emergency services fearing the worst floods in over 35 years.
Photo: Getty Images

An abandoned four-wheel-drive sits in a flooded street in Oakey, Australia.

Australia Flood Disaster

A local resident sits in his home surrounded by flood waters on January 6, 2011 in Rockhampton, Australia. Floodwaters peaked at 9.2 metres yesterday in the central Queensland city just falling short of the predicted peak of 9.4 metres. Water levels are expected to remain high for at least a week, preventing residents from returning to their homes. The Queensland flood crisis has resulted in ten deaths and affected more than 200,000 people across an area as large as France and Germany combined.
Photo: Getty Images

A local resident sits in his home surrounded by flood waters in Rockhampton, Australia. Floodwaters reached over 9 meters in the central Queensland city.

Australia Flood Disaster

Debris and an overturned car are seen in central Toowoomba between 15:00 and 17:00 hours AEST following a flash flood which ripped through the town centre on January 10, 2011 in Toowoomba, Australia. 8 people so far have been confirmed dead in towns in the Lockyer Valley and over 70 are still reported missing. The Defense Force will today join the search and rescue mission as heavy rains are predicted to continue to inundate the region.
Photo: Getty Images

Debris and an overturned car are seen in central Toowoomba, Australia following a flash flood which ripped through the town centre on January 10, 2011.

Australia Flood Disaster

A Chinook helicopter with supplies flies over houses affected by flood waters on January 6, 2011 in Rockhampton, Australia. Floodwaters peaked at 9.2 metres yesterday in the central Queensland city just falling short of the predicted peak of 9.4 metres. Water levels are expected to remain high for at least a week, preventing residents from returning to their homes. The Queensland flood crisis has resulted in ten deaths and affected more than 200,000 people across an area as large as France and G
Photo: Getty Images

A Chinook helicopter with supplies flies over houses affected by flood waters  in Rockhampton, Australia.

Australia Flood Disaster

A damaged building is seen in central Toowoomba between 15:00 and 17:00 hours AEST following a flash flood which ripped through the town centre on January 10, 2011 in Toowoomba, Australia. 8 people so far have been confirmed dead in towns in the Lockyer Valley and over 70 are still reported missing. The Defense Force will today join the search and rescue mission as heavy rains are predicted to continue to inundate the region.
Photo: Getty Images

A damaged building is seen in central Toowoomba, Australia following a flash flood which ripped through the town centre on January 10, 2011.

Australia Flood Disaster

Emergency personnel look for residents in need of evacuation after the swollen Fitzroy River broke its banks and flooded the city of Rockhampton on January 5, 2011. Tens of thousands of people in Rockhampton braced for complete isolation as waters, which have inundated an area bigger than France and Germany and closed the town's airport and railway, lapped at the last remaining road link.
Photo: TORSTEN BLACKWOOD | AFP | Getty Images

Emergency personnel look for residents in need of evacuation after the swollen Fitzroy River broke its banks and flooded the city of Rockhampton.

Australia Flood Disaster

A boat still attached to its pontoon floats unmanned down the Brisbane River at sunrise on January 12, 2011 in Brisbane, Australia. Nine people so far have been confirmed dead in towns in the Lockyer Valley and many more are reported missing after devastating floods inundated the region. Evacuations are underway in several towns and suburbs in and around Brisbane with residents and emergency services fearing the worst floods in over 35 years.
Photo: Getty Images

A boat still attached to its pontoon floats unmanned down the Brisbane River at sunrise.

Australia Flood Disaster

Mining equipment is submerged under flood water on January 6, 2011 in Rockhampton, Australia. Floodwaters peaked at 9.2 metres yesterday in the central Queensland city just falling short of the predicted peak of 9.4 metres. Water levels are expected to remain high for at least a week, preventing residents from returning to their homes. The Queensland flood crisis has resulted in ten deaths and affected more than 200,000 people across an area as large as France and Germany combined. The flood bil
Photo: Getty Images

Mining equipment is submerged under flood water in Rockhampton, Australia.

Australia Flood Disaster

Land disperses away from under a railway track on January 11, 2011 in Toowoomba, Australia. 8 people so far have been confirmed dead in towns in the Lockyer Valley and over 70 are still reported missing after devastating floods inundated the region. Evacuations are underway in several towns and suburbs in and around Brisbane with residents and emergency services fearing the worst floods in over 35 years.
Photo: Getty Images

Land disperses away from under a railway track in Toowoomba.

Australia Flood Disaster

A Fire & Rescue four-wheel-drive negotiates flooded streets on January 11, 2011 in Oakey, Australia. 10 people so far have been confirmed dead in towns in the Lockyer Valley and over 70 are still reported missing after devastating floods inundated the region. Evacuations are underway in several towns and suburbs in and around Brisbane with residents and emergency services fearing the worst floods in over 35 years.
Getty Images

A Fire & Rescue four-wheel-drive negotiates flooded streets in Oakey, Australia.

Australia Flood Disaster

Kieth 'Cowboy' Burnett (L) and Brian 'Moose' Malone (R) drink beer at the flood-bound Pioneer Hotel in Rockhampton on January 6, 2011. Tens of thousands of people in Rockhampton braced for complete isolation as waters, which have affected an area bigger than France and Germany combined and closed the town's airport and railway, lapped at the last remaining road link.
Photo: TORSTEN BLACKWOOD | AFP | Getty Images

Men drink beer at the flood-bound Pioneer Hotel in Rockhampton. Tens of thousands of people in Rockhampton braced for complete isolation as waters, which have affected an area bigger than France and Germany combined and closed the town's airport and railway, lapped at the last remaining road link.

Australia Flood Disaster

An aerial view of the Ipswich CBD area submerged in flood water on January 13, 2011 in Brisbane, Australia. Twelve people have been confirmed dead in towns in the Lockyer Valley and many more are reported missing after devastating floods inundated the region. Evacuations are underway in several towns and suburbs in and around Brisbane with residents and emergency services preparing the worst floods in over 100 years.
Photo: Getty Images

An aerial view of the Ipswich CBD area submerged in flood water on January 13, 2011 in Brisbane.

Australia Flood Disaster

This aerial photograph shows engine fluids streaming from a submerged car sales yard as flood waters devastate much of Brisbane on January 13, 2011. Australia's third-largest city awoke to a 'war zone' with whole suburbs under water and infrastructure smashed as the worst flood in decades caused wide destruction. The death toll from the latest deluge stands at 15.
Photo: TORSTEN BLACKWOOD | AFP | Getty Images

This aerial photograph shows engine fluids streaming from a submerged car sales yard as flood waters devastate much of Brisbane.

Australia Flood Disaster

Residents boat past a McDonald's restaurant along Granard Road, Rocklea on January 13, 2011 in Brisbane, Australia. The Brisbane river peaked at 4.46 metres today - a metre less than the historic floods of 1974 that devastated the region. Brisbane city and several suburbs were inundated with waters flooding over 25,000 Brisbane homes partially or completely and leaving over 100,000 residences without power. The recent floods in Brisbane and the Lockyer Valley have claimed lives of 12 people with
Photo: Getty Images

Residents boat past a McDonald's restaurant along Granard Road, Rocklea in Brisbane.

Australia Flood Disaster

Montague rd in West End is covered in flood water on January 13, 2011 in Brisbane, Australia. The Brisbane river peaked at 4.46 metres today - a metre less than the historic floods of 1974 that devastated the region. Brisbane city and several suburbs were inundated with waters flooding over 25,000 Brisbane homes partially or completely and leaving over 100,000 residences without power. The recent floods in Brisbane and the Lockyer Valley have claimed lives of 12 people with many more reported mi
Photo: Getty Images

Montague Road in West End is covered in flood water on January 13, 2011 in Brisbane. The Brisbane river peaked at 4.46 meters that day — a meter less than the historic floods of 1974 that devastated the region.