Floods affects one-quarter of Australia's Victoria state

17:07, January 20, 2011      

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About one-quarter of Victoria state of Australia has now been affected by the unprecedented floods, which will continue to threaten towns in the north and northwest of the state for up to 10 more days.

According to Australia Associated Press, the worst floods in Victoria's recorded history is still threatening small towns from Kerang to Swan Hill and further west near Dimboola and involve the Wimmera, Avoca and Loddon rivers. Army has been deployed to many flood-stricken towns.

"We're seeing unprecedented flows in northern parts of our state, we still have a very wide and expansive span of water that is not necessarily going to stick to its natural courses," State Emergency Service (SES) Deputy Director of Operations Tim Wiebusch told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday.

"Water levels are likely to remain at this high level at the top end of the state for quite some time, so we are likely to see this flood emergency continue for at least another seven to 10 days."

More than 1,000 residents at Kerang ignored evacuation alerts and they are now isolated by floodwaters, and SES said there have been more than 150 rescues, half from cars, due to people ignoring advice not to enter floodwaters.

On the other hand, Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu said while a massive clean-up job starts coming into view, it was important to also learn from the flood, so the next generation has an understanding of what does work and how they can protect their towns.

Victorian Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said a bipartisan review should be held to investigate whether the response to the state's floods could have been handled better.

Meanwhile, Australia's Weather Bureau said the La Nina effect that has fueled record flooding in Victoria is expected to persist into autumn.

Geographically Victoria is the smallest mainland state of Australia, but it is also the second most populous state.

Source: Xinhua

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