Nightly News   |  January 02, 2011

Amid ‘biblical’ flood disaster, Australia faces more rain

It’s been a miserable start to 2011 for the northeast state of Queensland, where flooding is affecting an area bigger than the state of Texas. As ITN’s Nina Nannar reports, thousands have been forced to flee.

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This content comes from a Full-Text Transcript of the program.

LESTER HOLT, anchor: Severe flooding has triggered what is being called a disaster of biblical proportions in Australia tonight. The northeast state of Queensland , the affected area, is bigger than the state of Texas . Thousands have been forced to evacuate, and more rain is on the way. We have a report from Nina Nannar of our British broadcasting partner ITN .

NINA NANNAR reporting: The scale is simply staggering, more than 200,000 people affected across an area larger than France and Germany combined. And still the floodwater is rising. Distraught residents rescued with only the clothes they are wearing.

Unidentified Woman: Well, I just said we have to go, and that's all there was to it. No use saying no.

NANNAR: Attempting to drive has proved costly, a 41-year-old woman swept from her car and to her death. Rescuers managed to save three children and another adult in the vehicle. Rockhampton is simply swamped, one of more than 20 cities and towns cut off or underwater. The airport is closed and it's feared the floodwaters could rise to well over 30 feet in the coming days. Amid fears of further storms to come, it's thought restoring the region's devastated mining, farming and tourism industries could cost billions of dollars. Supplies are getting to isolated communities, but the authorities are warning of a threat from crocodiles and poisonous snakes. The rain has stopped for now, but the rising waters still bring misery and danger to this battered Australian state . This is Nina