Floods driving them out of their homes in Brisbane
Thu, Jan 13, 2011
The Star/Asia News Network

PETALING JAYA: Malaysians in Brisbane are on the edge as floods continue to worsen in various parts of the city.

Malaysian Professor Rusdin Laiman of the Queensland University of Technology had to leave his home and seek refuge with a fellow Malay-sian in Highgate after his Toowong home was submerged in water.

He said the power supply to Brisbane's Central Business District (CBD) was shut off and all roads closed.

A University of Queensland student, who identified herself only as Wong, managed to leave the St Lucia neighbourhood before the floods.

She said the university had been partially submerged.

"Even our usual hangout spots and restaurants are inundated," she said.

Wong said the University of Queensland Malaysian Students Association was helping Malaysians stranded in the area to safety.

"In the last few hours, they rescued seven Malaysian students by boat. They are also looking for people to host stranded Malaysians in other areas of Brisbane not hit by the floods," she said.

Griffith University student Lidiana Rosli, who lives in the Robertson neighbourhood, said they were told to be on standby to be evacuated yesterday.

"It was terrifying to see the river overflow its banks. I finally came to the realisation of what was happening," she said in a telephone interview with The Star.

"People were in a panic to leave work and headed to grocery stores to stock up on food," she said.

According to Brisbane-based Courier Mail, the death toll has risen to 12 and 51 people were missing as of yesterday.

The floods are the worst that the city has seen in a century as more than 50 suburbs are expected to be hit with the Brisbane River level rising to 4.5m on Wednesday before surging towards 5.2m at 4am on Thursday.

Malaysian Yeoh Ting Kiat in a posting on The Star Online said that many people in affected areas were trying to take as much valuables as possible while evacuating.

"The flood sirens are heard echoing throughout the day to remind residents in low-lying areas to evacuate quickly.

"The CBD is mostly deserted now, with businesses sand-bagging their shops to prevent flood waters," Yeoh said.


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