blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
As Brisbane and Ipswich found the news better than hoped for, Brazil has been struck by disastrous flash floods that have killed at least 250 (more recent reports suggest up to 350). A few lovely flistees have said they wanted to send some flood relief money to Australia come payday. We have enough cash to take care of everyone, if you could, send it down to Brazil as their need is greater.

Things like this make me very glad that the population density of Australia is one of the very lowest in the world. It is awful enough knowing that at least 15 people have died here, but while personal tragedies are equally hideous everywhere, as a country, we are comparatively well off. The splendid [livejournal.com profile] i_autumnheart  puts it all perfectly here.

One more handy link that came up today is the Disaster Relief Wiki run by the Fitzroy Oxfam Group. Here people can ask for what they need, and offer what they can give. So if you have a pair of gorgeous, classically styled heels bought for a wedding and worn once ten years ago, you may be able to find a home for them that will not fill you with guilt at the thought of money wasted. Just a random example.

In thoroughly good news, HAPPY BIRTHDAY [livejournal.com profile] snottygrrl ! Your Christmas card arrived today, which filled me with guilt as I have not yet posted your birthday one. But I hope you have a fabbo day!

And thanks enormously [livejournal.com profile] cinnatart  for your Chrissy card that also arrived today and [livejournal.com profile] auntpurl  for your lovely thank you card. I will send a thank you card for your thank you card shortly and commit us both to an endless cycle of pleasantry that we can sell for a fortune as memoirs of a bygone era in fifty years' time.
blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
As Brisbane and Ipswich found the news better than hoped for, Brazil has been struck by disastrous flash floods that have killed at least 250 (more recent reports suggest up to 350). A few lovely flistees have said they wanted to send some flood relief money to Australia come payday. We have enough cash to take care of everyone, if you could, send it down to Brazil as their need is greater.

Things like this make me very glad that the population density of Australia is one of the very lowest in the world. It is awful enough knowing that at least 15 people have died here, but while personal tragedies are equally hideous everywhere, as a country, we are comparatively well off. The splendid [livejournal.com profile] i_autumnheart  puts it all perfectly here.

One more handy link that came up today is the Disaster Relief Wiki run by the Fitzroy Oxfam Group. Here people can ask for what they need, and offer what they can give. So if you have a pair of gorgeous, classically styled heels bought for a wedding and worn once ten years ago, you may be able to find a home for them that will not fill you with guilt at the thought of money wasted. Just a random example.

In thoroughly good news, HAPPY BIRTHDAY [livejournal.com profile] snottygrrl ! Your Christmas card arrived today, which filled me with guilt as I have not yet posted your birthday one. But I hope you have a fabbo day!

And thanks enormously [livejournal.com profile] cinnatart  for your Chrissy card that also arrived today and [livejournal.com profile] auntpurl  for your lovely thank you card. I will send a thank you card for your thank you card shortly and commit us both to an endless cycle of pleasantry that we can sell for a fortune as memoirs of a bygone era in fifty years' time.
blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
My friend [livejournal.com profile] i_autumnheart   is in a safe spot in Queensland, and doubtless doing dozens of useful things, because she is terrific and like that. One of them is this map: 


You can see the size of Australia compared to the continental USA. The dark blue line is the normal monsoon zone. The blue and pale blue lines were the original estimates of the flooded and flood-affected (cut off as well as largely underwater) areas, the purple and magenta lines are autumn's updated areas as of this afternoon. The flood-affected area in Queensland alone is already significantly bigger than the state of Texas, the flooded area larger than California. (If you can only think in terms of Europe, check out this link for comparative sizes.) Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] anthraxia , for the original link.

Careful viewers will notice there are two other major floods in the country at the moment. If you look down to the bottom left and find Perth, a bit below LA, there is a massive fire near there that has only just been brought under control.

The upside of living in a country of such madness is that people are generally great. It's not just the former Prime Minister, many people have been fabulous with supermarkets giving away stock to local people and strangers continuing to form human chains to help people rescue possessions and stock. The RSPCA put out an alert because they were unable to cope and within two hours people had stepped forward to foster all the excess animals at that time. People who were evac-ing an old caretaker in Brisbane took his budgerigars away in their pockets because he did not have a portable cage -- a whole new dimension to budgie smuggling.

The death-toll from the flash-flooding has risen to 12, but in good news the missing are now down to 48, though with grave fears held for 9 of them, as the news phrase has it. The expected peak has been revised down, which has meant that only 3000-odd homes in Ipswich were inundated rather than 4000. Things are still getting deeper in Brisbane, and will for at least another day.

And yes, there are still snakes in the water, and crocodiles, and now at least one shark.

One of my girlfriends was teasing me because I told her to fill her saucepans with water while they still have guaranteed potable water, but in all seriousness, it's the major difference between getting through the aftermath of a natural disaster with ease and with great annoyance. No one likes having to queue for water! Fingers crossed the desalination plant will mean that most of Brisbane can keep drinking from the tap. Sadly, in some rural areas, it's a 3 minute boil for anything from the tap.

Meanwhile, for you lot up north with friends who have lost goods, a few helpful links:
Fairfax story on dealing with water-damaged electronics [livejournal.com profile] drbunsen , who is a real-life techie rather than a journo playing one on the internet, says that you'd be better off following this advice. He's probably right, I only know about paper and textiles!
Good page on dealing with water-damaged documents

And for precious garments and textiles, a conservator's guide that contains many things the layperson can do
blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
My friend [livejournal.com profile] i_autumnheart   is in a safe spot in Queensland, and doubtless doing dozens of useful things, because she is terrific and like that. One of them is this map: 


You can see the size of Australia compared to the continental USA. The dark blue line is the normal monsoon zone. The blue and pale blue lines were the original estimates of the flooded and flood-affected (cut off as well as largely underwater) areas, the purple and magenta lines are autumn's updated areas as of this afternoon. The flood-affected area in Queensland alone is already significantly bigger than the state of Texas, the flooded area larger than California. (If you can only think in terms of Europe, check out this link for comparative sizes.) Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] anthraxia , for the original link.

Careful viewers will notice there are two other major floods in the country at the moment. If you look down to the bottom left and find Perth, a bit below LA, there is a massive fire near there that has only just been brought under control.

The upside of living in a country of such madness is that people are generally great. It's not just the former Prime Minister, many people have been fabulous with supermarkets giving away stock to local people and strangers continuing to form human chains to help people rescue possessions and stock. The RSPCA put out an alert because they were unable to cope and within two hours people had stepped forward to foster all the excess animals at that time. People who were evac-ing an old caretaker in Brisbane took his budgerigars away in their pockets because he did not have a portable cage -- a whole new dimension to budgie smuggling.

The death-toll from the flash-flooding has risen to 12, but in good news the missing are now down to 48, though with grave fears held for 9 of them, as the news phrase has it. The expected peak has been revised down, which has meant that only 3000-odd homes in Ipswich were inundated rather than 4000. Things are still getting deeper in Brisbane, and will for at least another day.

And yes, there are still snakes in the water, and crocodiles, and now at least one shark.

One of my girlfriends was teasing me because I told her to fill her saucepans with water while they still have guaranteed potable water, but in all seriousness, it's the major difference between getting through the aftermath of a natural disaster with ease and with great annoyance. No one likes having to queue for water! Fingers crossed the desalination plant will mean that most of Brisbane can keep drinking from the tap. Sadly, in some rural areas, it's a 3 minute boil for anything from the tap.

Meanwhile, for you lot up north with friends who have lost goods, a few helpful links:
Fairfax story on dealing with water-damaged electronics [livejournal.com profile] drbunsen , who is a real-life techie rather than a journo playing one on the internet, says that you'd be better off following this advice. He's probably right, I only know about paper and textiles!
Good page on dealing with water-damaged documents

And for precious garments and textiles, a conservator's guide that contains many things the layperson can do
blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
I can't help it, I still love Kevin Rudd. Australia's former prime minister, now foreign minister, was out on the streets of Brisbane today, trousers rolled up to his pasty white knees and tide marks to his thighs, carrying stuff to help evacuate people in his region. He evac-ed the belongings of a bunch of Korean students who are all on holidays and were going to lose everything. Bless him. A group of journos and stickybeaks started paying attention to him, so he roped them into helping.

Meanwhile, in his official capacity, Kevin announced today that offers of international help had been pouring in. Some from Australia's traditional friends, the US and UK (Thanks, Barack and Clameron!), some from European nations that have strong links with this country (most of them -- did you know Australia has the third largest Greek city in the world after Athens and Thessaloniki?).

And there are also significant offers from Indonesia, our giant northern neighbour that is not hugely rich. There were frosty relations between Australia and Indonesia for about thirty years over East Timor and events relating to it, which eased dramatically in the aftermath of the Pacific Tsunami and earthquakes that followed. It's strange that natural disasters can sometimes accelerate diplomacy in a way that nothing else can.

African nations are also offering support, even though many are currently stretched supporting countries in their own region. It's very heartwarming.

The good news is that Australia is comparatively wealthy, and even though these floods will take billions off the GDP for the next two years (agriculture and mining will be slow to recover), we have not had a recession during the GFC and are better positioned to weather the blow, as it were, than most of our G20 colleagues. So while we may require aid in terms of experts, equipment and maybe even manpower depending on how bad things get, from a money perspective, we'll cope as a country.

It is individuals who are going to have problems, with many underinsured or not insured at all. Millions of dollars have been pouring into the government fund, but thousands are affected, and whole homes are being lost. If you have spare funds, there are sites for donation. Many don't, good thoughts are just as valuable, and if you have Queenslanders on your flists, so is taking the time to comment to them and let them talk about what's going on. Having a good yarn, as they say in Oz, is thoroughly therapeutic.
blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
I can't help it, I still love Kevin Rudd. Australia's former prime minister, now foreign minister, was out on the streets of Brisbane today, trousers rolled up to his pasty white knees and tide marks to his thighs, carrying stuff to help evacuate people in his region. He evac-ed the belongings of a bunch of Korean students who are all on holidays and were going to lose everything. Bless him. A group of journos and stickybeaks started paying attention to him, so he roped them into helping.

Meanwhile, in his official capacity, Kevin announced today that offers of international help had been pouring in. Some from Australia's traditional friends, the US and UK (Thanks, Barack and Clameron!), some from European nations that have strong links with this country (most of them -- did you know Australia has the third largest Greek city in the world after Athens and Thessaloniki?).

And there are also significant offers from Indonesia, our giant northern neighbour that is not hugely rich. There were frosty relations between Australia and Indonesia for about thirty years over East Timor and events relating to it, which eased dramatically in the aftermath of the Pacific Tsunami and earthquakes that followed. It's strange that natural disasters can sometimes accelerate diplomacy in a way that nothing else can.

African nations are also offering support, even though many are currently stretched supporting countries in their own region. It's very heartwarming.

The good news is that Australia is comparatively wealthy, and even though these floods will take billions off the GDP for the next two years (agriculture and mining will be slow to recover), we have not had a recession during the GFC and are better positioned to weather the blow, as it were, than most of our G20 colleagues. So while we may require aid in terms of experts, equipment and maybe even manpower depending on how bad things get, from a money perspective, we'll cope as a country.

It is individuals who are going to have problems, with many underinsured or not insured at all. Millions of dollars have been pouring into the government fund, but thousands are affected, and whole homes are being lost. If you have spare funds, there are sites for donation. Many don't, good thoughts are just as valuable, and if you have Queenslanders on your flists, so is taking the time to comment to them and let them talk about what's going on. Having a good yarn, as they say in Oz, is thoroughly therapeutic.
blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
It's been raining in Queensland for about two months. For thirteen years there was barely a drop, but over the last two, there have been repeated floods. This year's are the worst. The ground is sodden and the creeks and rivers have all overflowed. An area the size of France and Germany combined has been submerged for most of the Christmas/New Year period, and people have been swept away as the water crept slowly through the state, isolating farms and country towns and cutting major highways.

Yesterday the water stopped creeping. Instead a wave that has been described as an inland tsunami barreled through Toowoomba and neighbouring areas, sweeping all before it, including houses that were lifted off their stumps and smashed against the next building, or in some cases their own back fences. Cars were stacked in piles against walls, and giant water tanks and shipping containers went bobbing down the street.

You can see the force of the flood in this video, which shows a local creek rising and rising. Only two people died in Toowoomba, which is nothing short of amazing, but so far another eight are confirmed dead in neighbouring towns, and 78 are missing.

All that water is moving down the river system now, some of it to New South Wales, where at least everyone has had warning and a chance to evacuate. There will be property damage again, but it should be mostly fine.

The rest of the water is headed to Brisbane, Caboolture and Ipswich. Brisbane is the capital of Queensland, similar in terms of importance (if not culture) to Liverpool or Chicago. At least 6500 properties will go underwater, even if there's no more rain. At the moment they are projecting it will be more like 9000. There has been a day's warning, and the people in the region have spent it packing -- some have been packing for complete strangers, helping them to load up belongings and save what they can. Toowoomba has warned people, and they are evacuating early, though so many roads are cut, many can only go to safe public areas rather than family in other towns.

The last major floods in Brisbane were in 1974. In response the Wivenhoe Dam was built to hold back the water so it could never happen again. The dam is full now, and it can't hold the water back any longer. They are having to make controlled releases so the dam continues to stop a catastrophe. But it can no longer protect the city from a flood. The best advice says that it will be worse than 1974.

In Ipswich, it is expected to reach 22 metres (24 yards), and the power is being cut off in an hour there. In Condamine, which has only just dried out from December, the water is coming back and 42 of the 60 homes there are expected to go underwater. Again.

They're being typically Australian about it all. In Toowoomba a woman told of throwing one her her daughters from her flooding shop to a man on the street while she swam out with the older girl. Another man, whose home was collapsing beneath him as he climbed onto the rood said that he just jumped onto the neighbour's roof, which was better. As people do, they have saved each other where they can, and acts of great heroism are being shrugged off as nothing.

If you are in the area, or have friends and family there, the ABC has an interactive map showing road closures, water contamination, power cutoffs and other hazards. If you're fine and have power, take a moment to update it when you can. Thanks [livejournal.com profile] rdmasters  for the heads-up on that one.

If you have spare cash, the ABC has a list of donation points, or there is the Australian Red Cross, who are already in and helping. These are mostly poor areas, people who cannot afford a home in a higher town, or farmers who were hoping for a good crop after years of mostly disastrous ones.

Our friends and Mr B's family in the region continue fine, so far. They're more likely to be inconvenienced by contaminated water or power cuts than at risk from the floods given where they are.  [livejournal.com profile] remuslives23  hasn't checked in for a few days, I suspect (and hope) this may be because she is out doing something useful as she is in the middle of the region.

Keep safe, you Queenslanders.
blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
It's been raining in Queensland for about two months. For thirteen years there was barely a drop, but over the last two, there have been repeated floods. This year's are the worst. The ground is sodden and the creeks and rivers have all overflowed. An area the size of France and Germany combined has been submerged for most of the Christmas/New Year period, and people have been swept away as the water crept slowly through the state, isolating farms and country towns and cutting major highways.

Yesterday the water stopped creeping. Instead a wave that has been described as an inland tsunami barreled through Toowoomba and neighbouring areas, sweeping all before it, including houses that were lifted off their stumps and smashed against the next building, or in some cases their own back fences. Cars were stacked in piles against walls, and giant water tanks and shipping containers went bobbing down the street.

You can see the force of the flood in this video, which shows a local creek rising and rising. Only two people died in Toowoomba, which is nothing short of amazing, but so far another eight are confirmed dead in neighbouring towns, and 78 are missing.

All that water is moving down the river system now, some of it to New South Wales, where at least everyone has had warning and a chance to evacuate. There will be property damage again, but it should be mostly fine.

The rest of the water is headed to Brisbane, Caboolture and Ipswich. Brisbane is the capital of Queensland, similar in terms of importance (if not culture) to Liverpool or Chicago. At least 6500 properties will go underwater, even if there's no more rain. At the moment they are projecting it will be more like 9000. There has been a day's warning, and the people in the region have spent it packing -- some have been packing for complete strangers, helping them to load up belongings and save what they can. Toowoomba has warned people, and they are evacuating early, though so many roads are cut, many can only go to safe public areas rather than family in other towns.

The last major floods in Brisbane were in 1974. In response the Wivenhoe Dam was built to hold back the water so it could never happen again. The dam is full now, and it can't hold the water back any longer. They are having to make controlled releases so the dam continues to stop a catastrophe. But it can no longer protect the city from a flood. The best advice says that it will be worse than 1974.

In Ipswich, it is expected to reach 22 metres (24 yards), and the power is being cut off in an hour there. In Condamine, which has only just dried out from December, the water is coming back and 42 of the 60 homes there are expected to go underwater. Again.

They're being typically Australian about it all. In Toowoomba a woman told of throwing one her her daughters from her flooding shop to a man on the street while she swam out with the older girl. Another man, whose home was collapsing beneath him as he climbed onto the rood said that he just jumped onto the neighbour's roof, which was better. As people do, they have saved each other where they can, and acts of great heroism are being shrugged off as nothing.

If you are in the area, or have friends and family there, the ABC has an interactive map showing road closures, water contamination, power cutoffs and other hazards. If you're fine and have power, take a moment to update it when you can. Thanks [livejournal.com profile] rdmasters  for the heads-up on that one.

If you have spare cash, the ABC has a list of donation points, or there is the Australian Red Cross, who are already in and helping. These are mostly poor areas, people who cannot afford a home in a higher town, or farmers who were hoping for a good crop after years of mostly disastrous ones.

Our friends and Mr B's family in the region continue fine, so far. They're more likely to be inconvenienced by contaminated water or power cuts than at risk from the floods given where they are.  [livejournal.com profile] remuslives23  hasn't checked in for a few days, I suspect (and hope) this may be because she is out doing something useful as she is in the middle of the region.

Keep safe, you Queenslanders.

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