Australian state of Queensland braces for flooding
- 27 January 2013
- From the section Asia
The Australian state of Queensland is on alert for flooding in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Oswald.
Hundreds of people have been evacuated as heavy rain continued to fall on Sunday, with the towns of Gladstone and Bundaberg preparing for the possibility of major floods.
The bad weather is forecast to move towards the state capital, Brisbane, and the state of New South Wales.
Two years ago, flooding in Queensland left 35 people dead.
On Sunday, Australian media reported that authorities had pulled the body of an elderly man from the water at Burnett Heads, north-east of Bundaberg.
Two other people were reported missing, including a man who disappeared after trying to cross a creek in Gympie, north of Brisbane.
Six tornadoes have already hit the Bundaberg region, tearing off roofs and injuring 17 people.
The BBC's Nick Bryant reports from Sydney that the river in Bundaberg is already above the flood levels witnessed in 2010, and meteorologists fear it could rise another metre, reaching levels not seen in 70 years.
The council is expecting some 300 homes and businesses to be inundated.
In Gladstone, to the north, 400 properties have already been evacuated.
Sandbags are also being handed out in the state capital Brisbane, where bay areas are especially vulnerable from tidal surges.
Severe weather warnings are in place from central Queensland to the New South Wales border.