Australia's flood crisis worsens, forcing more evacuations

15:38, December 31, 2010      

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Australia's Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said on Friday that a flood crisis was emerging in Emerald in central Queensland with more evacuations being expected.

Authorities expect a significant number of residents from the town to be homeless as the flood crisis escalates.

"Authorities think there will be a very large group of people who will be homeless in the next 24 hours," Bligh told reporters who went with her on a flood tour on Friday.

The Nogoa River in the flood-hit region of central Queensland is at 16 meters and rising and more than 1,200 residents have registered as evacuees, with more than 500 put up in evacuation centers, according to the Australian Associated Press (AAP) report.

The defense force has been called in to set up emergency accommodation outside Emerald, and two Black Hawk helicopters are flying locals out and making food drops to isolated communities around the town.

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