Page last updated at 03:37 GMT, Monday, 25 May 2009 04:37 UK

Many stranded by Australia floods

By Phil Mercer
BBC News, Sydney

Flooding in Lismore (22 May 2009)

More than 20,000 people remain isolated by floods in eastern Australia.

Incessant rain and strong winds that have caused chaos in areas in between Brisbane and Sydney have eased, but several major highways remain closed.

Forecasters are predicting more storms later this week; it could take up to two weeks for the floodwaters to recede fully.

The worst affected parts of northern New South Wales remain swamped by murky brown water.

The state premier Nathan Rees has described the region as an "inland sea".

Entire communities have been cut off, prompting rescue workers to deliver emergency rations to thousands of people trapped in their homes.

Farmers have reported losing large numbers of sheep and cattle, while residents have been warned to look out for venomous snakes lurking in the floodwaters that have inundated several town centres.


A natural disaster zone has been declared.

Coastal areas, including the popular resort town of Byron Bay, have been buffeted by abnormally high tides and waves up to 6m (18ft) high.

There is a warning that mass erosion on some beaches could change the landscape for good.

The wild storms that lashed parts of Queensland and New South Wales, which have claimed two lives in recent days, have abated, although forecasters have warned that more inclement weather is on the way.

Print Sponsor

Thousands flee Australia floods
23 May 09 |  Asia-Pacific
Australian deluge worsens floods
02 Apr 09 |  Asia-Pacific
Eastern Australia hit by floods
01 Apr 09 |  Asia-Pacific
Death toll cut in Australia fires
30 Mar 09 |  Asia-Pacific
Crocodile risk in Australia flood
04 Feb 09 |  Asia-Pacific

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific