www.whyville.net Jan 23, 2011 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

Australian Flood Crisis

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You have probably recently heard about the devastating flood crisis that destroyed homes and townships of the southeastern area of Queensland in Australia. It has been labeled one of the worst natural disasters in Australia's young history. Taking effect over the past week, floodwaters have reached thousands of homes across the state leaving families and individuals stranded in evacuation centers and hotels.

Main areas that were inundated with water were Brisbane CBD, Ipswich, Toowoomba, Gatton and parts of the Sunshine Coast. Stories of bravery and gallantry have arose over the past week while many people scrambled their way out of town in hope of dodging the frightening wall of water that would eventually rip away the comfort of their once welcoming home. The death toll is rising and missing persons count is on an endless incline. Power cuts and food shortages were among the long lists of setbacks residents had to face while battling the full front on force of what seemed like a never ending fight against an inevitable disaster.

While many homes and businesses were completely submerged in water, insurance companies had and are still continuing to deny most claims in an effort to reduce the amount of cash loss. Loopholes and voided contracts are of concern to residents that were once peaceful in thinking that their house was insured for flood damage. A select hand full of insurance providers has recently announced that all contracts with them are completely liable to file claims with the guarantee of being compensated.

The floods effected countrywide routines and procedures in many businesses, as most warehouses, offices and outlets of major companies were swallowed by the mass amounts of water that ran through the southern parts of eastern Queensland. Normal operations for many businesses are not tipped to return for another several weeks as the clean up begins in hope of restoring a once vibrant area of the Australian coastline. On average per day, close to 80,000 people from all parts of Australia have volunteered in an effort to help clean houses and return people's lives back to normal. Streets, par klands, recreational areas and all outdoor land mass have been completely destroyed and will be unable to retain for a long period of time, the once blooming and lively appeal that so many Australians admired and respected.

It's exceedingly important to remember the rescue workers that sacrificed so much in order to help so many. Members of the State Emergency Service (SES), Police, Fire, Medical, Australian Armed Services, Australian Defense Force, Surf Life Saving Australia and many more smaller clubs and organizations that donated time and money to saving lives, homes and communities. It is definitely greatly appreciated and their hard work will never be forgotten. It's absolutely amazing the amount of support Queensland residents have received from complete strangers that are willing to help. The actions of Australian citizens is undoubtedly a true testament of how rich and supportive the real Australian culture is; as all citizens are willing to lend a hand where needed. It's in time of distress and need that the true Australia shines. In many instances like cyclone Larry and Ash Wednesday Fires, Australians have not been short of offering complete and undeniable support for those who were unlucky enough to be affected by the disasters.

If you would like to donate money to help the victims of the flood crisis there are a few ways.

You can donate to the Premier's Flood Relief Appeal using the information on this website: http://www.qld.gov.au/floods/donate.html

Or, you can donate directly to the Red Cross using this website: http://www.redcross.org.au/howyoucanhelp_donationopt.htm

Some donations are tax deductible, so please remember to keep your receipt and read the terms and conditions. Also BOTH ways of donating accept international donations.

It's also worthy to mention some of the major donations received to the Premier's Flood Relief Appeal. Top 5 donators are: Commonwealth Bank, Coles Supermarkets, Etihad Airways, TABCorp and XSTRATA Queensland who have all donated 1million dollars or more. The full list of major donations ($10,000 or more) can be found here: http://www.thepremier.qld.gov.au/initiatives/disaster_recovery/donations.aspx

Lastly I would like to conclude with a few comments that some Whyvillians had the opportunity to share with me when I asked them the following questions in relation to the floods.

Analyst: Have you heard of the current flood crisis in southeast Queensland of Australia? If so, how did you hear about it?

xXaCiiDXx: Yes, I have hard about the Queensland floods. I live on the east coast of Australia, so obviously I'd hear it from everywhere; television, friends family, radio, Internet.
DuDuDaa: Well, yes, I live in Australia, so it's pretty much all that is on TV at the moment.
X3Hailsx3: Yes I have. I heard about it through a website I go on. It's my homepage and it was on the front.
imaweird: Yes I have heard about it in school.
xoxkitkat: Actually, yes, I have heard about the awful flood in Australia. I read about it on a news article that I found online.
sisskins: I knew there has been a huge flood somewhere. I found this out one morning when I turned on the news channel to see if I had a closing and then they started showing clips of the flood. It was a horrible picture. There were people swimming, some with clothing and their belongings in boats!
WaterMel8: Yes, I recently heard about it on the news. I think it's a terrible thing to have to go through and it made be realize how where I am from, people are complaining about snow covering their driveway while a disaster is going on.
Ally4ev10: I have not heard about the flood yet but now I have.

Analyst: Have you or your family donated to the flood relief appeal. If not, are you planning to?

xXaCiiDXx: Our family has not donated to the flood relief appeal, but we plan to if further major flooding occurs.
DuDuDaa: Yes, of course. It would be the most un-Australian thing not to.
X3Hailsx3: No we haven't. I don't really know. But I hope so because I think that if I were over there, I would want someone to donate.
imaweird: Yes, we donated.
xoxkitkat: My family hasn't donated yet, but our church is having a collection for the flood relief this Sunday, and we're going to give a little something to that.
sisskins: My family has not donated. We don't plan on it. It is tough times for many people out where I live. If we had the money, if I even had the money, I would donate in a heartbeat. Although, we have to keep our money for food for 10 people in my household.
WaterMel8: We haven't yet, but I would love to! I donated to Haiti using a cell phone text but I'll definitely help out. Australia has always been a dreamland for myself and I hope to visit one day!
Ally4ev10: Yes, once I find out how. I think donating would be a good choice.

Analyst: Do you have any final comments?

xXaCiiDXx: I'd just like to hope for the best for the people in crisis, but I believe everything happens for a reason. To the people who are currently struggling in the floods, remember your friends and family, and "Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, then it's not the end."
X3Hailsx3: I feel so sorry for everyone who has had losses in this tragic event and also for the ones who were just in it. You all will be in my prayers and I hope you all make it through this tough time. Everyone goes through them, but this one stands out the most. I'm sure there have been lots of lots and in my opinion; I think it was their time to pass.
xoxkitkat: I just hope that the people there will be able to build a peaceful new life after this terrible event. Also, I heard of a story of a little boy who asked a rescuer to save his brother before himself and ended up drowning along with his mother. I just want to send my prayers out to that family and mention how amazingly brave that little boy was.
sisskins: Well, I have so much to say but I don't want to bore you. All I want to say is that I pray that everyone gets found in that huge mess. I hope God can help the people up in the helicopters spot every man below them not missing one person anywhere. Also, for those who haven't donated I highly recommend you to!
WaterMel8: I just pray that God will give them the power and strength to overcome this disaster and I will continue to research more and more of this hard time and see if there is anything I can do to lend a hand. Australia is in my prayers and I'm sure in time, they'll be able to overcome this!
Ally4ev10: Yes. My sympathies to all that have lost their loved ones and good luck to all the victims of the flood!
Xion2: Yes, I wish that anyone affected will be able to return to an even BETTER life than before.

Thank you very much for reading. Please keep the people of Queensland in your prayers and thoughts as they suffer the brutal impact of this crisis and endure the conditions for many years to come.

Keep Classy Whyville,

Author's Note: Source for the pictures supplied in this article:


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