February 12, 2011

Queensland floods facts - December 2010 - January 2011


facts / info on 2010-2011 floods (damage, impact on economy, various industries, Great Barrier Reef). Facts on Victoria floods. Facts on Cyclone Yasi.

you may be interested in:
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Facts on Queensland floods (December 2010 - January 2011)

The north-eastern Australian state of Queensland was hit by a series of floods in December 2010 and early January 2011. Many areas suffered intense flooding. More damage was to come in February when the state was struck by Cyclone Yasi (see below). Floods later in January also devastated Victoria state to the south (see below).

Fact sheet on the effects of the Queensland floods, spawn by the La Nina weather pattern (please link back to this post if you use the content here. thank you!) :

fact: 3/4 of Queensland was declared a disaster zone: about 1.3 million sq km, an area larger than France and Germany combined, or Texas and California combined.

> 70 towns affected. Communities along the Fitzroy River and Burnett River were the most hard hit. Substantial flooding recorded for Condamine River, Ballone River and Mary River.

At the peak of the floods, in Brisbane (4.46m/14.6 feet on January 13):
- 11,900 homes and 2,500 businesses were completely flooded
- 14,700 homes and 2,500 businesses were partially flooded
- 67 suburbs were affected
(Brisbane is Queensland's capital and Australia's third largest city, with a population of 2 million.)

At the peak of the floods in Ipswich:
- more than 2,000 homes and 1,000 businesses were affected by flooding


Death toll: >30  35

People affected: 2.1 million

- Estimates vary but damages may hit A$20 billion, 1.5% of GDP, although the rebuilding will boost GDP.
- Flood caused disruptions to 25% of businesses in Queensland (including closures) and 10% of businesses across Australia, according to a National Australian Bank survey of 1,500 businesses nationwide published in early February.
- Revenue of large and medium-sized businesses cut by 5%. Biggest hit: Queensland, revenue down 9.8%. New South Wales and Victoria, revenue down 4%.

Queensland is an important mining and farming state.

- At least A$1 billion in losses, federal Treasurer Wayne Swan said in late January.
- The floods wiped out more than 75% of Australia's A$400 million banana crop. Price of bananas expected to soar by up to 500%. A friend said one banana cost A$8 in a Perth shop in late January.
- Sugarcane growers could lose up to A$500 million, about 30% of Australia's harvest. Australia is the world's third largest sugar exporter.
- Many dairy farmers, even those who escaped the floods, were forced to dump thousands of litres of milk because it could not be transported for processing.

- The Queensland floods nearly brought Australia's A$50 billion coal industry to a halt. Australia is the world's largest coking coal exporter and the second largest thermal coal exporter after Indonesia. Coking or metallurgical coal is used for steelmaking, while thermal coal is used for power generation.

Queensland accounts for 56 per cent of Australia's black coal production and 62 per cent of the country's coal exports. The world's largest miners, including BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata operate in resources-rich Queensland.

- Coal exports could drop by 15 million tonnes (valued at A$2-2.5 billion) due to the flooding in Queensland and other eastern states, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences said on January 21. The drop in exports means coal prices will go up globally

- 80% of coal mines in Queensland were affected by excess water and rail lines used to transport coal were put out of action, said the Queensland Resources Council.

- In mid-January, ony 15% of Queensland's 57 coal mines were fully operational, 60% were operating under restrictions and another 25% had not restarted production, according to the Queensland Resources Council.

-  As at February 12, out of the 57 coalmines in Queensland, only seven were in full production, while four still did not have access to a railway, according to The Australian newspaper. Companies were forced to scale back operations before and during the floods and evacuate sites ahead of Cyclone Yasi.

some info on damage caused by the floods to ASX-listed companies here

up 0.25 percentage point in early February after the Queensland floods and Victoria floods, which wiped out vast swathes of Australia's food bowls.

- 35,000-40,000 homes damaged or destroyed, estimated half not insured.
- Roads, railway tracks destroyed.
- A$8 billion needed to rebuild houses, farms, roads and other infrastructure, according to the first official estimates from the Reserve Bank in early February. Public infrastructure rebuilding to total A$6-7 billion.

- A$2 billion in insurance claims (43,755 claims) lodged, the Insurance Council of Australia said February 11, 2011.
- 54% of the number of claims from residents in Brisbane, 17% from Lockyer Valley.
- about half of claims are for damage to residential properties; 28% of claims for damage to content of those properties; 10% are for damage to cars.
- some large claims from commercial, industrial and mining companies.

Even areas that are not disaster-stricken are affected. In early February 2011, hoteliers in Cairns (gateway to the Great Barrier Reef) reported occupancy rates of just over 50% of 2010, while the Gold Coast reported figures of about 60%.
The federal and Queensland government announced a A$10 million Tourism Industry Support Package in early February.

The Great Barier Reef
Scientists say the murky freshwaters that drained into the sea off the north-east coast affected the reef, one of the world's most amazing but fragile ecosystems. The reef is already stressed by pollution, extreme weather conditions and warming seas caused by climate change.

The impact / extent of the damage is as yet unclear but floodwater can hurt reefs in many ways:
1. Coral becomes stressed when the level of salt in the water drops.
2. The high concentration of soil nutrients in floodwater provides food for competitors to coral, like some types of algae.
3. Sediment saps coral of energy as it blocks the light coral needs to nourish itself.
4. Pediment in the water can kill the coral.


Facts on Australian flood levy 2011/2012 income year:
The government announced a one-off tax to raise A$1.8 billion of the A$5.6 needed for reconstruction. Individual taxpayers with income over A$50,000 will have to pay the flood levy for 12 months. Flood and Yasi victims exempted.

A levy of 0.5% will be applied on that part of an individual’s income between $50,001 and $100,000 and a levy of 1% will be applied on that part of the taxpayer’s taxable income above $100,000. For example, a worker who earns A$80,000 will pay $2.88 a week or $150 for the year. Facts and updated info on the flood levy from the Australian government here.

The flood levy plan still has to be approved by Parliament.

Facts on financial assistance for Queensland floods victims
- The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment allows for Queensland flood victims to receive emergency payments of A$1,000 per adult and A$400 per child subject to eligibility criteria. .
- Donations to the Queensland Flood Relief Appeal as at February 11, 211: A$212,434,087

information from the government on disaster assistance to victims at the Australian Government Disaster Assist website .

Cyclone Yasi impact facts
Yasi, a category five cyclone nearly the size of the United States slammed into north Queensland in the night of February 2, 2011 with winds of more than 200kmh/125mph and waves up to 8m/26 feet high. The 300 mile/480km wide cyclone was the worst storm to hit the area in a century.

It made landfall near Mission Beach and flattened properties and destroyed more plantations along the state's coast, although the destruction was much less than first feared as the storm weakened as it headed to shore. It had earlier whipped up winds nearing 290kmh/180mph. Thousands of people had been evacuated before Yasi struck.

Some of the most disrupted areas were in Townsville and Ingham. Tens of thousands were left without power, water or communications.

Industry groups have warned of more the A$1 billion in damage to tourism, agriculture and industry in far north Queensland as a result of Yasi. Economists say Yasi could wipe over A$2 billion from Australia's GDP.

Info on help for Yasi victims at Australian Government Disaster Assist site .

2011 Victoria flood impact facts
Heavy rainfall January 12-14 caused major flooding across much of the central and western parts of Victoria state (south of Queensland). Many towns were evacuated.
-Nearly 2,000 properties flooded. Over 17,000 homes lost power. Hundreds of roads and railway services disrupted.
- Agriculture: 51,800 hectares of crops destroyed; 41,200 hectares of field crops flooded; 6,100 sheep killed.
- Damage estimated at A$2 billion.
- 5,590 claims for an estimated A$67 million, the Insurance Council of Australia said February 11.

Nature's fury in pictures here, here, here, here 
How you can help:
* donate to Queensland Government Flood Relief Appeal
* check out auctions/raffles list at Make It Perfect (event over)

* my handmade jewelry auction is here (auction over, amount raised: A$60)

"Miracle girl" alive!

Police Tuesday (January 16) released this photo of a woman caught in a flash flood in Toowoomba to get help identifying her and find out if she survived. Hannah Reardon-Smith did survive her ordeal.

links to other videos on Australia/Queensland flood

do bear in mind that damage figures may change and get updated in time.
please link back to this post if you use my blog content. thank you!

first posted January 19, 2011
edited february 12, 2011

You may be interested in these posts:
FACTS: Japan earthquake, tsunami, nuclear crisis March 2011
Japan earthquake, tsunami: How to help

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Gfhf said...

Very helpful facts (:

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Hi said...

Hi I'm doing a speech on the Queensland floods this information was very helpful

Confused... said...

Just wondering whether or not the sources you used were linked :S

jacobsallgood said...

really helpful. I'm confused how 3/4 of Queensland can be flooded and with its population of 4 million, only 40000 homes damaged

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bellbogs said...

amazing information thx!!!

Renee said...

how were 2.1 million people affected if there is only a population of 2 million?

Dana Pizzolato said...

A great blog! where did you get all the facts from? is there an overall report or a website?

liberal sprinkles said...

Thanks, Dana. I culled the info from various news and government sites and organised it in what I hope was a more digestible format for people researching the issue. Hope it helped!

Ashley said...

Is there a name I could use for a reference from this? Putting Liberalsprinkles as a reference in my report wouldn't go down too well with my lecturer is all!

Anonymous said...

Amazing thank you!! do more!!

Anonymous said...

thanks 4 the facts :)

Arielle said...

Thank you so much for these! So easy to read and understand, big help!

Nat said...

Very helpful facts for my humanities and social sciences presentation!

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