January 04, 2011
Water, water and more water.
The great state of Queensland is carrying a heavy burden this past week or so. And whilst epic weather events appear across our consiousness alot more often with 24 hour news coverage across the globe - the sheer scale of water flooding the driest continent on earth is breathtaking. To highlight the magnitude of these floods for those unaware - the flood has covered ~ the size of France and Germany combined or greater than the size of Texas.
And this is no flash flood - the 9.4m water levels will not retreat for upwards of 2 weeks - as a Sydney Harbour worth of water or ~ 1 million mega litres pour forth thru the Fitzroy river every 2 days.
The old poetic saying that Australia is " a land of drought and flooding rain" is no more evident that in the past decade in rural Australia - after a decade of drought broken last year - now Australian river systems are being washed thru with biblical scales of water. Given the immense scale of water - it gives some credence to the Noah account of the Great Flood. Not that I buy the fact that the "whole world flooded" - but if you consider thousands of years ago the 'whole world' for a local might have been the size of Texas or half of Queensland - then a flood like this might have appeared to cover the world.
Fortunately - the response from locals and the emergency services have greatly limited the death toll but nothing can stop the economic impact - estimated at around 0.5% of national income. Sugar prices globally have reacted as well as wheat prices and with 65% of global coking coal coming out of the region - the huge queues out of Australian resources ports will continue to grow.
Water, water and more water........