Rain bomb' hits Australia's northeast, killing seven in floods

PATRICK HAMILTON/ AFP

A severe storm system pummelled Australia's northeastern city of Brisbane on Sunday, causing evacuations, power outages and school closures as the death toll climbed to seven from accompanying flash floods.

More than 1,400 homes in the capital of Queensland state were at risk of flooding while more than 28,000 homes were without power statewide, as pristine beaches on the Gold and Sunshine coasts, which are key tourist attractions, all closed.

"We never expected this rain," state premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told a briefing.

"This rain bomb is just really, you know, it's unrelenting ... It's just coming down in buckets."

More than 100 schools across the southeast of a state famed for abundant sunshine will be closed on Monday.

State rescue services said they received 100 requests an hour for help in recent days.

Among the six killed in the flooding were a 34-year-old man who tried to swim to safety after the waters submerged his car and another whose vehicle was swept away in the most populous state of New South Wales (NSW).

About 700 people were asked to evacuate from the city of Gympie on Saturday after the Mary River system surged beyond 22.06 m (72.4 ft) for the town's worst flood since the 1880s.

Meteorologists said the deluge and thunderstorms would continue through Monday, before starting to ease off in Queensland, but moving south to New South Wales, where some communities at risk in its northeast have been told to evacuate.

The risk of riverine and flash flooding was "very real over coming days," said Steph Cooke, the state's emergency services minister.

More from International News

  • 99% of missiles and drones fired by Iran shot down, Israel says

    Iran launched more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel overnight, 99 per cent of which were shot down, the Israeli military said on Sunday, adding that the armed forces remained fully functional and were discussing follow-up options.

  • Indonesian landslides kill at least 14

    At least 14 people have been killed in landslides on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, the country's disaster mitigation agency said on Sunday, with rescue efforts ongoing for those reported missing.

  • Israel says Hamas has rejected hostage, aid proposal

    Hamas has rejected the latest proposal for a deal to return Israeli hostages and Israel will continue to pursue its objectives in Gaza "with full force", Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said in a statement on Sunday.

  • Sydney stabbings not a terrorist attack, police say

    The man who fatally stabbed six people in Sydney had mental health issues in the past and there was no indication ideology was a motive in the attack in one of the city's busiest shopping centres, police said on Sunday.

Blogs