Australian news, and some related international items

Record flood disasters in Eastern Australia, (but nobody mentions the climate change connection)

NSW floods: State added to insurance catastrophe declaration as waters rise, SMH Peter Hannam, 31 Mar 17, The widespread flooding in northern NSW has prompted the Insurance Council of Australia to add the region to its catastrophe declaration in the wake of Cyclone Debbie.

Flood waters were expected to peak on Thursday afternoon for rivers in the state’s north, with the Tweed, Wilsons and Richmond valleys of most concern.Lismore, a major centre on the Wilsons River, had its 10.6 metre levee breached, with flood waters expected to peak at about 11.8 metres, the Bureau of Meteorology said.

The Insurance Council’s declaration comes as some 7500 claims for damage had been lodged from Queensland alone after the category-four cyclone slammed into the coast near Bowen and the Whitsunday Islands on Tuesday.

“This is only the early stage of a natural disaster and I expect the insurance losses could reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars as householders and businesses return to their properties and lodge claims,” Rob Whelan, chief executive of the council, said.

“This level of catastrophe has not been seen since ex-tropical cyclone Oswald in 2014, when storms and flooding affected large parts of Queensland and NSW and caused insurance losses of almost $1.2 billion.”….A 2013 report in 2013 by Deloitte Access Economics ​for the Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience & Safer Communities found disasters were costing $560 million a year now in terms of economic and social disruption, a figure predicted to soar to $33 billion by 2050 in part because of climate change…….

“There is a predicted increase of rainfall intensity of 30-40 per cent in some areas so it means floods are going to be bigger and more frequent,”

Thousands of homes evacuated as floods cause havoc in Australia, RTE 31 Mar 2017 Swollen rivers have flooded entire towns along Australia’s east coast, cutting roads and leaving residents clinging to roofs and floating down streets in boats after the remnants of a powerful cyclone swept through the region.


April 1, 2017 - Posted by | General News

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