Rains Cause Floods, Evacuations in Northeast Australia

Posted January 24th, 2012 at 4:45 pm (UTC-5)
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Torrential rains have caused flooding in northeastern Australia, submerging roads and reaching some homes, about a year after deadly floods devastated the region.

Power outages affected thousands of homes in Queensland and new South Wales Tuesday. Authorities started evacuations in several areas, including the state capital, Brisbane, as more heavy rains are forecast later in the week.

Floods were also reported in Fiji, where two people were killed and about 700 were evacuated to higher ground. Soldiers were deployed to help get a group of stranded tourists to the airport.

Last year's floods in Australia inundated tens of thousands of homes, wiped out huge tracts of farmland, crippled the coal mining industry and killed at least 35 people. It was followed by a strong cyclone, which worsened damage.