Australia – Hundreds Evacuate Floods in Queensland After 650mm of Rain in 24 Hours

Major flooding along the Mary River in eastern Queensland, Australia, has prompted hundreds of residents to evacuate their homes. Meanwhile police report at least one person has died and one is missing after vehicles were swept away by flooding in separate incidents in the Fraser Coast and Gympie Regions.

Floods in Maryborough, Queensland, Australia, January 2022. Photo: Fraser Coast Regional Council

Flooding came after intense rain in the Gympie and Fraser Coast Regions on 08 January 2022 brought by the remnants of tropical cyclone Seth. Figures from Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) show that in a 24 hour period to 08 January, Marodian recorded 674 mm of rain, Mount Kanigan in Gympie recorded 649.8 mm and Miva 572 mm.

Queensland Police said they are investigating the death of a man after his vehicle became submerged in flood waters at Kanigan, Wide Bay 07 January. Police and emergency services were called to reports of a man and teenage girl caught in floodwaters in Booubyjan near Gympie in the early hours of 08 January. The pair managed to escape from their vehicle before it was swept away. Police said the man was rescued after being located clinging to a tree and taken to Bundaberg Hospital for treatment, while the search continues for a 14-year-old girl still missing.

Police and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services issued an urgent emergency evacuation order for around 80 homes in the city of Maryborough in the Fraser Coast Region after the Mary River was expected to rise above major flood level. As of late 09 January, the BoM Queensland said, “Major flooding is now occurring at Maryborough, where river levels are currently peaking around 10 metres, which is below the peak in January 2013 of 10.7 metres.”

Severe weather could impact areas further north over the coming days after Tropical cyclone Tiffany strengthened to category 2 as it approached Cape York Peninsula. Tiffany was expected to make landfall between Cooktown and Lockhart River late on 10 January 2022.

Tropical Cyclone Tiffany moving westward towards Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland, Australia. Image: BoM