Clean-up in Queensland

Water levels dropped quickly after the terrible floods last week, leaving thick layers of smelly mud.

About 50,000 volunteers are helping to clean up. They bring spades, brooms, buckets and rubbish bags. They scrape mud off the floor with a spade or try to sweep it out with a broom. They throw out furniture, books, toys and carpets which are covered with mud. Rubbish trucks collect dirty and broken possessions. In some places, where the water was right up to the ceiling, people pull out kitchen benches and inside walls. Some homes will be demolished. More than 30,000 homes and businesses were flooded.

Most of those properties still have no electricity. Each building has to be checked by a qualified electrician before the power can be connected.

It is not easy to get to some properties because of broken bridges and roads. Most buses in Brisbane city are now running but ferry terminals (like bus stops) on the Brisbane River are damaged. Ferries are important in Brisbane to carry workers into the city.

The police are looking for 14 people who are still missing. They have found 18 bodies, some in cars, houses, fields or in rivers.

The heavy rain has been caused by La Nina weather in the Pacific. This rain is now spreading down the east coast of Australia to Victoria and Tasmania, causing flooding in these areas.


1. How long do you think it will take before everything is back to normal? Days, months or years?
2. Are you surprised at the number of volunteers? Would this happen in every country do you think or are Australians unusual?
3. The floods in Brazil are much worse. Why do we in New Zealand hear much more about Australia than Brazil?

One Comments

  1. perhaps its not worthy answering but ill do it anyways:
    1. months
    2. not surpresed, aussies rock
    3. empathy, u right, my grans parents were brazilians n
    i know there well, floods there are way worse cause ppl
    throw things everywhere + concils disrupt money to trash collection, basically

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