Added: 3. Januar 2011
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Australia is experiencing one of the worst floods in the past 70 years. BBC says the flooding has reached ‘biblical proportions.’
“Even in a land as vast as Australia the scale of the flooding is hard to comprehend. In central Queensland, murky brown flood waters cover an area the size of Germany and France combined.”
Al Jazeera reports the residents of local towns don’t seem to have any miracles coming their way any time soon.
“The water has gone down, but the trouble we have here is that all the dams on every tributary are actually full. So if we were to another 200 millimeters of rain like we did on the night before the flood — things could turn nasty quite quickly.”
The Guardian reports authorities expect the water levels to reach 30 feet. But returning floodwaters aren’t the only major concern.
“Officials have warned householders to beware of venomous snakes and killer crocodiles that are threatening to invade flooded homes and businesses.”
The financial burden of t he flood is being called ‘catastrophic.’ Bloomberg says the flood-ravaged state of Queensland accounts for 20 percent of Australia’s $1.3 trillion economy. A majority of the revenue is generated by the local coalmines where production has come to a stand still.
“In addition to the rebuilding cost, the state will miss royalty payments from those mines… it may take three months for some to resume normal production.”
About 73 percent of coal mining companies have said they will be unable to ship any coal, according to The Australian. The Australian talked to the coal industry conglomerate Macquarie Group, which says…
“…the floods could create such a severe shortage of suitable-quality coal it could trigger a worldwide shortage of steel.”
According to the Australian Coal Association, Australia is the world’s largest exporter of coal, providing 28 percent of the 940 million tons produced annually worldwide. China has started stockpiling steel and India has enacted a hold on the export of iron to meet it’s own growing steel needs.