Australia

Australia deadly super storm kills destroys homes

Rescue teams assess vehicles submerged in floodwaters in Brisbane, Australia, 01 May 2015 Image copyright EPA
Image caption Unprecedented rainfall in south east Queensland created dangerous flash floods

More than 100 houses have been left uninhabitable in Queensland following a super storm that killed six people.

A number of places in the state recorded their wettest May days since 1996, according to Australia's Bureau of Meteorology.

The state now faces a massive clean-up and insurers say they have received thousands of claims.

The government has offered support to those worst affected and has warned the number of destroyed homes could rise.

"There are 106 homes that are uninhabitable, this morning," said Queensland government Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller.

"It will be a couple of days, maybe even a few more than that, for us to work out whether or not they are able to go back into their homes," she said.

Warnings ignored

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk repeated earlier warnings from police and rescue services that people should not put their lives at risk by driving through floodwaters.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Authorities continually warn Australians not to drive through floodwaters

However, she said she would not be adopting suggestions from some quarters to prosecute people who ignored the warnings, local media reported.

Police believe some of the people who died over the weekend drove around Roads Closed signs, reported The Australian.

In one incident, a four-wheel drive vehicle carrying a grandfather, his five-year-old grandson and the boy's mother was swept off a bridge over a flooded creek at Caboolture, north of Brisbane.

Nearby, a 68-year-old woman managed to escape the car she was in but emergency workers were unable to rescue her 75-year-old husband, who drowned as the car was swept away.

An elderly man died in his car in Burpengary, and a six-year-old boy was drowned in wild surf just over the border in New South Wales (NSW).

The deaths come less than two weeks after four people died in violent storms that hit NSW, including an 86-year-old woman in the Central Hunter region who drowned after she tried to drive through floodwaters.

The Insurance Council of Australia said as of Monday morning it had received 7,500 claims worth an estimated A$26m ($20m, £13m) for damage done in the two states between Friday and Sunday.

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