Thursday, January 6, 2011
Queensland floods are reaching the point where Mass Evacuations should be considered, Helicopters should be ferrying in supplies and taking out Elderly and Women & children certainly those who have relatives that are able to take them in and give them some quality of life whilst away from home.
Whilst flood levels were projected at 9.5m there was an expectation that the community could cope with being cut off for 10 days or so. But now there are thoughts and concerns being voiced in the media of 14m which if the images we are seeing at 8m levels will mean that so many more houses will be submerged. Brad Carter , Rockhampton's Mayor, is saying that a 9.4m flood will go over the floorboards of 400 houses, so how many more houses will be ruined if the flood / river levels rise further ? Presently the authorities say that 10 days of impassable roads will be the result at 9.4m but should the levels go higher then how much longer will this crisis take to be resolved and how many more homes inundated.
Already we are seeing residents saying they are unwilling to leave their homes for fear of looting and this is the same reaction to leaving home during bush fire emergencies. The authorities have already moved to reinforce the Police contingent but the legislature needs to draft Draconian Penalties for those caught with Loot during emergencies. That people can stoop so low as to behave like this is unthinkable, Australia is not a third world country as are Haiti or Pakistan. Miscreants can be found in any walk of life or country but Life on a Penal colony for Looters would be too good for them.
Not being an Engineer i wonder about the current building codes since the media are showing modern single story brick built homes awash but the older wooden homes where you have to walk up the external staircase are in many cases well clear of the flood waters, seems that modern life styles overlooked the dangers posed by nature. Those currently building homes enjoy the convenience of walking out the door getting into their vehicle but in earlier days they built knowing the risks that nature posed to their way of life. How many of the modern homes are insured for Flood Risk ?
Each of the Broadcasters that i have access to , CNN , BBC World , Al Jazeera and RT.com take their feed from Australian Networks which deliver "Sound Bites" but to date i have not seen any stories of Wheelchair Users difficulties. Each of use value our independence so it would be difficult to understand their additional difficulties posed by the current situation.
Being in Europe I wonder how I could assist, should Qantas offer a return seat and there were facilities to provide bed, board and reasonable facilities for a three month period I would be happy to offer help. There must be plenty of tasks that could be handled not requiring qualifications. Naturally my preference would be to assist those “Wheelchair Bound” but given the scale of the disaster I would willingly pitch in where needed. One thing I am certain of , is that there are many like myself who given the opportunity would consider lending a helping hand. I have “Tweeted” and added requests to my “Comments on SBS/cycling central” to find a suitable contact point but so far to no avail.
Doubt that the physical work will match the several hours of “Ski touring “ that I do most days , but would be a change to the rowing mce and tacx trainer.
Any offers of contact points to help ,please email firstname.lastname@example.org
There are reports of the flood cresting at 9.2m which could be good news, however the weather for the next week sounds bad. What i had not realised is that the flood waters from S/W Queensland will flow through to Sth Australia arriving in 4 to 6 weeks time and does this mean flooding there also. Can the experts find a way to create dams along the way to save water for later use. All that empty area and some of the water can't be diverted into empty terrain ? Who thinks about water conservation outside the River Murray Agreement ? How long has there been this disagreement among the states that the focus has only been on this supply system ?
Premier Mike Rann tweeting today reminded me of this ongoing saga but the locals surely have plans that could be turned into reality.
Railway facilities in Queensland have been destroyed in the past by flooding and yet we are back there again. No doubt the Ore has to be dried out before shipment but will the rest of the world allow "Force Majeure" to be invoked continually, "Just in Time" is practised in the factories as a way to save money but not upgrading the infrastructure after previous floods could mean billions of dollars lost to the economy. Many other nations must be dusting off their plans with the view to either competing or taking away the captive market that Queensland has again let down.