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12 January 2011 @ 11:49 pm
It's still flooding ...  
My friend i_autumnheart   is in a safe spot in Queensland, and doubtless doing dozens of useful things, because she is terrific and like that. One of them is this map: 

You can see the size of Australia compared to the continental USA. The dark blue line is the normal monsoon zone. The blue and pale blue lines were the original estimates of the flooded and flood-affected (cut off as well as largely underwater) areas, the purple and magenta lines are autumn's updated areas as of this afternoon. The flood-affected area in Queensland alone is already significantly bigger than the state of Texas, the flooded area larger than California. (If you can only think in terms of Europe, check out this link for comparative sizes.) Thanks, anthraxia , for the original link.

Careful viewers will notice there are two other major floods in the country at the moment. If you look down to the bottom left and find Perth, a bit below LA, there is a massive fire near there that has only just been brought under control.

The upside of living in a country of such madness is that people are generally great. It's not just the former Prime Minister, many people have been fabulous with supermarkets giving away stock to local people and strangers continuing to form human chains to help people rescue possessions and stock. The RSPCA put out an alert because they were unable to cope and within two hours people had stepped forward to foster all the excess animals at that time. People who were evac-ing an old caretaker in Brisbane took his budgerigars away in their pockets because he did not have a portable cage -- a whole new dimension to budgie smuggling.

The death-toll from the flash-flooding has risen to 12, but in good news the missing are now down to 48, though with grave fears held for 9 of them, as the news phrase has it. The expected peak has been revised down, which has meant that only 3000-odd homes in Ipswich were inundated rather than 4000. Things are still getting deeper in Brisbane, and will for at least another day.

And yes, there are still snakes in the water, and crocodiles, and now at least one shark.

One of my girlfriends was teasing me because I told her to fill her saucepans with water while they still have guaranteed potable water, but in all seriousness, it's the major difference between getting through the aftermath of a natural disaster with ease and with great annoyance. No one likes having to queue for water! Fingers crossed the desalination plant will mean that most of Brisbane can keep drinking from the tap. Sadly, in some rural areas, it's a 3 minute boil for anything from the tap.

Meanwhile, for you lot up north with friends who have lost goods, a few helpful links:
Fairfax story on dealing with water-damaged electronics drbunsen , who is a real-life techie rather than a journo playing one on the internet, says that you'd be better off following this advice. He's probably right, I only know about paper and textiles!
Good page on dealing with water-damaged documents

And for precious garments and textiles, a conservator's guide that contains many things the layperson can do
makes me mellow right down to my soulfrances_veritas on January 12th, 2011 12:54 pm (UTC)
Oh no. :(

But I'm so glad people are coming together. Always grateful when that happens.

I'm glad your friend is safe! ♥
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 12th, 2011 01:24 pm (UTC)
Yes, I have a load of friends up there but they all live on higher ground. Thank goodness. People have been largely amazing, bless their white cotton socks.
The Ramblings of an often very distracted person.annes_stuff on January 12th, 2011 01:08 pm (UTC)
"And yes, there are still snakes in the water, and crocodiles, and now at least one shark"

That shark was spotted swimming past where I work (well used to work)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 12th, 2011 01:23 pm (UTC)
Of COURSE there is a shark. This continent is enough to make me start anthropomising nature -- 'I don't think that's lethal enough. Hmmm, ah, there we go. Swimming taipan. Perfect!'
(no subject) - annes_stuff on January 12th, 2011 01:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - xenelle on January 12th, 2011 04:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - drbunsen on January 13th, 2011 01:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
george pushdragon: bittenpushdragon on January 12th, 2011 01:16 pm (UTC)
One upside to all of this? Anna Bligh is bloody magnificent, who knew? She looks like hell, but hasn't lost her cool, and gives the impression (which is her job) of knowing exactly what's going on. I love watching her speak in these briefings.

There was one shot of the Premier with the PM standing behind her and I wanted to print it out and give a framed copy to every girl in Australia for inspiration.

Ha! Budgie smuggling! Tabbott will be upset that some other bugger's budgies have knocked his out of the news.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 12th, 2011 01:30 pm (UTC)
She IS! And she looks like hell in the good way, if that makes sense. Julia was annoying me a bit in the press conferences, but seems to have been excellent in person as she spoke with evacuees -- typical of her, I think.

Where is Tabbott? Surely he could be in there with his muscles and kayak? If KRudd can do some heavy lifting, why not his Buffness?
(no subject) - pushdragon on January 12th, 2011 01:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - i_autumnheart on January 12th, 2011 03:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - i_autumnheart on January 13th, 2011 08:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - i_autumnheart on January 12th, 2011 03:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mayela_delarue on January 12th, 2011 09:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
naamahs_prophetnaamahs_prophet on January 12th, 2011 02:37 pm (UTC)
This was really well done, thank you. I live in queensland and really the extent of it is just unbelievable. As I'm on the outreaches a little I had only really seen the worst affected areas on news footage but I went out for a drive today and it's really just amazing how so many peoples lives have just been washed away. Its good to know someone is letting people outside of our little island understand. :)
silent hallucinationalex_s9 on January 12th, 2011 03:07 pm (UTC)
The entry with Europe is f-locked, did you notice?

@And yes, there are still snakes in the water, and crocodiles, and now at least one shark.

You live in a dangerous country.

It's really awful what happens there at the moment. I feel sorry for all those people who lost everything.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 12th, 2011 03:10 pm (UTC)
Ooh, no. Oops! Will go and hunt down an open image!

And yes, it's just dreadful. The loss of life is bad enough, but there are then thousands more who have lost their livelihoods.
AutumnHearti_autumnheart on January 12th, 2011 03:21 pm (UTC)
This blog post (down below the cartoon at the top)</a> has an excellent explaination of why the area affected is so enormous, and why that's nowhere near as much of a problem as it would be in the US or Europe. It was written before Brisbane went under, but still has a point.

The northern half of the state is cut off from road and rail, but the airports are open, and as long as the cyclones hold off for a little longer, then there is access by sea to almost all the major cities anyway. So it could be much worse up there. Poor Condamine and Chinchilla, though... maybe they should switch to rice for the summer.
Ann: eyetsosh on January 12th, 2011 03:25 pm (UTC)
within two hours people had stepped forward to foster all the excess animals at that time
This brought tears to my eyes. It's strange how disasters always bring out the best in people...
down the hills and round the bendsnorton_gale on January 12th, 2011 03:31 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the comparison. For some bizarre reason I always thought Australia was much bigger than the US!

My heart goes out to all of you. And yeah, I agree that it's not a bad idea to have a pot or two of water on hand. Fingers crossed that things get better soon.
drbunsendrbunsen on January 12th, 2011 03:55 pm (UTC)
There's some *spectacularly* bad advice in that Fairfax article. Writing wall'o'text response, brb.
drbunsendrbunsen on January 12th, 2011 05:30 pm (UTC)
Posted here. It's a public entry.
Hollyhollyxu on January 12th, 2011 04:56 pm (UTC)
Ye gods. It's not always this dangerous all over the country, is it? Y'all are brave, brave people.

I think it takes more perseverance and bravery to recover in the aftermath (and it's often not shown on TV because it's less sensational), and I hope the worst is over.
Potteresque Irepotteresque_ire on January 12th, 2011 05:45 pm (UTC)
I have been paying attention to the weather woes in Australia, but this map definitely offers a stunning (and sad) perspective. Thank you for posting this (and anthraxia for making it).
Anwynanthraxia on January 12th, 2011 06:07 pm (UTC)
I didn't make it, I just found and posted the original image, because it said so much I couldn't.
(no subject) - potteresque_ire on January 12th, 2011 06:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Jaeenchanted_jae on January 12th, 2011 07:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the updates and the perspective!
some kind of snark faeryshyfoxling on January 12th, 2011 09:37 pm (UTC)
Huh. I did not have gut knowledge that Australia was approximately the same size as the US. It's one of those things you try to mentally compensate for, Mercator projections can be deceiving and all, you know? but it's not something I had a handle on.
Seshetasesheta_66 on January 13th, 2011 12:26 am (UTC)
Wow. An interesting perspective/comparison. Just ... so awful, and yet people coming together to help out like they are is heartwarming.

Edited at 2011-01-13 12:27 am (UTC)
kestrelsparhawkkestrelsparhawk on January 13th, 2011 02:46 am (UTC)
there are still snakes in the water, and crocodiles, and now at least one shark. Good lawd. I was living in Des Moines for 30 days w/o potable water, but it never occurred to me that there was one thing to be thankful for -- the flood was INLAND.

Bless you for your birthday wishes yesterday, btw. I have decided to schedule my b'day for a new time, since for the past week I appear to have become an animagus snot machine.

A couple of tips from our flood: first, water is ESSENTIAL. Besides potable water, they'lll need it for flushing the toilet and what washing can be done. We hooked up a rainbarrel to get toilet water, etc but our flood came from the rainiest month evah, and don't know if that's the issue there. Also let my little truck have a plastic lining and half filled with water, for bathing. At night, in the dark, obviously.

Second, I dropped an open bottle of water in my purse, and it soaked everything, including my camera, which is not water proof. The camera guy who sold it to me told me later (it resisted the wet) that the best way to dry very small electronics safely for them and you is to pack it in rice, and leave it for a few days. Makes sense -- salt shakers in restaurants, when I was a little girl (before they started putting poisons in the salt to make it not clump) always had a few rice grains in them to keep the salt free-flowing by sucking out the water. another friend who is a puter programmer and whose husband assembles hard drives and such, said "Didn't you know that?" I didn't, so I pass it on fwiw.
drbunsendrbunsen on January 13th, 2011 09:03 am (UTC)
Oooh, rice, I forgot that one. Adding it to my blurb.
(no subject) - kestrelsparhawk on January 13th, 2011 10:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - drbunsen on January 14th, 2011 08:45 am (UTC) (Expand)