Queensland's floods are shocking, mind-boggling: Australian PM

09:17, January 12, 2011      

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This is an aerial view photo of Brisbane taken on Jan. 11, 2011. Forecasts show about 6,500 properties will be flooded in Australian city of Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, Lord Mayor Campbell Newman said on Tuesday. (Xinhua/Fu Chengwei)

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Wednesday said she has been shocked by the images of flood devastation in Queensland, and the dimensions of the disaster are truly mind-boggling.

Australia confronts its worst flood disaster in living memory, with 10 people confirmed dead, half the victims children, and about 78 went missing in southeast Queensland.

A senior emergency official told The Australian newspaper that more than 30 people had actually died, including nine whose bodies had been located but not yet recovered.

Also, the water bearing down on Brisbane, the third largest city in Australia, threatens to engulf 6,000 homes and put about more people at risk, as the Wivenhoe Dam, built to spare the Queensland capital a repeat of devastating floods in 1974, is at its limit.

"I think we've all been shocked by the images of that wall of water just wreaking such devastation (in Toowoomba) and I agree with you that when we hear the statistics about how many homes are going to be hit in Ipswich and here in Brisbane, the dimensions of it are truly mind-boggling," Gillard told the Seven network on Wednesday morning.

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