Forced evacuations underway in Australia's flood-hit Rockhampton

14:36, December 31, 2010      

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Forced evacuations are underway in Australia's flood-hit Queensland coastal city of Rockhampton as the flood crisis escalates, the Australian Associated Press (AAP) reported on Friday.

Rockhampton, a city that lies on the Fitzroy River, approximately 40 kilometers from the river mouth, and some 600 kilometers north of the state capital, Brisbane, is facing food crisis due to flooding.

The city mayor Brad Carter said essential supplies, including bread, milk and fresh meat, had already sold out in many stores in the city, and efforts were underway to ship in more food before roads are cut.

He said there was no question the Fitzroy River in Central Queensland would rise beyond nine meters over the weekend, a level that would see 200 homes inundated and 4,000 parcels of land affected by flooding.

Road and rail links that are expected to be severed as early as Saturday and the airport is also expected to be shut down this weekend.

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