Though the focus of much of the United States was on the deadly shootings in Tuscon, AZ this week, massive floodwaters rushed through Brisbane, Queensland, Australia this week destroying thousands of homes and killing at least 16 people. Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland and the third most populous city in Australia. It’s metropolitan area has an approximate population of 2 million. This story was actually the number 10 trend on Twitter this week.
Speculation is that the floods that ravaged the city, and much of Queensland itself, was a result of La Nina. La Niƒ±a is a phenomenon where the water in the eastern Pacific Ocean cools by as much as 3-5 degrees celsius (37-41 degrees F) and drastically changes long-term weather patterns. Northern Australia typically sees more rain during a La Niƒ±a event and December 2010 was the wettest on record for Queensland, Australia. The result was a catastrophic flood surge that left homes and lives destroyed.
As with any natural disaster, the impact to life and business will be felt long term. The floodwaters have to first recede, which began happening late in the week and damage will have to be assessed. Homes and businesses will have to be rebuilt which could be delayed as infrastructure cleanup and repair will be required. Getting resources into the area could be cause additional delays to rebuilding. All the while, people have food, shelter, clothing and medical needs to contend with, along with obtaining the resources to pay for what they need.
The flooding in Brisbane is being compared to Katrina in New Orleans. It is now being called ¢â‚¬Å“Australia¢â‚¬â„¢s New Orleans.¢â‚¬‚ I would suspect that the needs are very similar. And five years after Katrina, there are still pockets of that city that still need cleanup just as the emotional scars still linger.
Take a moment and pray for this region of Australia. If you can donate financially, the Queensland government has set up a donation site. I also know of a ministry in the country that might also provide an avenue for directing resources to help. That organization is called Church Resource Ministries Australia and, though they are a church multiplication organization, they might know of ways to help the area.