Australia's Townsville flooding declared catastrophe by insurance council

The landslide caused a retaining wall to collapse on Stanley Street Townsville. Source Ben Downie/7NewsMore

Townsville has been brought to a standstill by severe flooding after an all-time record rainfall, the premier of Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said Saturday.

Disaster officials yesterday defended their decision not to forcibly move stranded residents - with 1,100 people assisted to relocate at the height of catastrophic flooding - despite special powers granted to police under a disaster declaration.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Services received 850 calls for flood assistance in the past 24 hours, most in Townsville. "But the thing I worry about is photos that you can't replace", she said.

Homes in the suburbs of Rosslea, Hermit Park, Railway Estate, Townsville City, Oonoonba, Idalia, Cluden, West End, Rowes Bay, Garbutt, Aitkenvale, Cranbrook, Currajong, Mysterton, Pimlico, Mundingburra, Douglas, Annandale, Kirwan and Thuringowa Central and South Townsville were at risk.

Thousands of people remain unable to return to their homes, with the State Emergency Service receiving nearly 1,200 calls for help in the 48 hours up to Tuesday morning.

Thousands of residents in and around the Australian metropolis of Townsville include been warned of "unprecedented flooding" after dam gates were fully opened on Sunday as monsoon rains persevered.

"My thinking is the support for Townsville people".

At least 200,000 people were affected by the flood and up to 500 homes in Australian Townsville are now underwater due to unsafe "unprecedented" flooding that affects Queensland, according to the Australian media.

She said the dam floodgates had to be released "to make sure the water had somewhere to go".

The national broadcaster ABC reported that thousands of homes had been abandoned in the suburbs of Townsville and that evacuations were being conducted.




In a Facebook post published last night, a member of the Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council said family was "worried sick" over the missing men.

The regions annual rainfall expectancy is said to have fallen in just seven days. With some trepidation going back into their homes and finding what they're going to find.

"You know that's not exactly what we've planned for and it really is new parameters we're moving into".

She said: "Crocodiles may be seen crossing roads".

Reports suggest 2000 properties have been affected by flooding, with vehicles also damaged.

Authorities have advised Townsville residents who have remained in their homes to have a plan in place and be ready to leave if necessary. Trucks with vital supplies could not get through and many shelves were empty.

The army is helping to protect homes with sandbags.

Further heavy rainfall was likely to develop in the severe warning area today, however, with six-hourly rainfall totals of between 150mm and 200mm possible, the Bureau of Meteorology said.

The monsoon trough that's flooded large swathes of Townsville unleashed another deluge overnight, on communities in the city's north.

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