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Parts of Australia’s third most populous city, Brisbane, were under water on Monday after heavy rain caused record flooding in parts of the east coast and killed seven people.
Flooding in and around Brisbane is the worst since 2011, when the city of 2.6million was inundated in what has been described as a once-in-a-century event.
A 59-year-old man drowned in north Brisbane on Sunday afternoon after trying to walk across a flooded creek and found himself pinned against a fence, Queensland State Police said on Monday.
IN BRAZIL, MUD SLIDES FROM TORRENTIAL DOWNPOURS KILL AT LEAST 58 PEOPLE
Queensland Emergency Services have warned that life-threatening flash flooding is occurring south of Brisbane in parts of the city of Gold Coast.
Residents were told to take shelter where they were unless it was unsafe to do so. Access to many areas has been cut off in several places, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services said in an alert.
Emergency crews carried out more than 130 swift-water rescues in 24 hours, officials said.
The seven deaths from the floods occurred in the state of Queensland, of which Brisbane is the capital. The search continues for a lone sailor, 70, who fell overboard from his vessel in the Brisbane River near the city center on Saturday.
Police were also looking for a missing man in Goodna, west Brisbane, and another Esk, northwest Brisbane.
South of the Queensland border, police were searching for a man on Monday after officers heard him calling for help in floodwaters in the New South Wales town of Lismore on Sunday.
Multiple emergency flood alerts were in place for suburban Brisbane, where 2,145 homes and 2,356 businesses were or would become submerged on Monday as waters rose. Another 10,827 properties will be partially flooded above the floors.
The Brisbane River peaked at 3.85 meters (12ft, 3in) on Monday, officials said.
That was 61 centimeters (2 feet) below the flood stage of 4.46 meters (14 feet, 3 inches) reached in 2011, officials said.
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Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said rainfall over Brisbane had been extraordinary since November, when authorities considered restrictions on water use due to a shortage.
“It’s still an important event, and I think everyone would agree that no one has seen such an amount of rain in such a short time,” Palaszczuk said in the southeast region.
Brisbane Mayor Adrian Schrinner said the floods were “very different” from 2011 as rain battered the area for five days. In 2011, the rain stopped days before the Brisbane River peaked and authorities warned for several days of flooding downstream.
Queensland Transport Minister Mark Bailey said major roads had been cut. Train and ferry services through Brisbane have been disrupted, he said.
“We’re still going to have localized flooding in many areas for a few more days,” Bailey said.
South of the Queensland border, the town of Lismore in New South Wales was preparing for its worst flooding on record.
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Downtown Lismore was flooded on Monday after days of relentless rain and 15,000 people were evacuated, officials said.