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Can Do (Phil 4:13) added a topic in World News1,000 evacuated as Mackay floods easeThe flood crisis in Mackay appears to be easing, allowing authorities to begin assessing the extent of the damage in the north Queensland city.
The weather bureau says the Pioneer River is peaking but flooding in the Mackay region will continue this afternoon as the water drains away.
Earlier today, flood boats evacuated about 200 homes in low-lying areas, after more than 600 milimetres of rain fell on the region in six hours.
The weather bureau says it is the biggest deluge in the region in 90 years.
"We're really close to breaking the highest ever rainfall record," said forecaster Vikash Prasad.
Ken Furdek from the Mackay City Council says the town's disaster coordination centre has received a further 250 calls for help since midday.
"We've got just about every available person that we can on deck at the moment handling those calls," he said.
About 1,000 residents will spend the night at four temporary evacuation centres.
For some, the clean-up has already started.
The Mackay Kindergarten and Pre-school backs onto the flooded Pioneer River, and local resident Cherri Savage says there is water everywhere.
"Our kindy has been called off today. The teacher very wisely rang parents and told them not to come in," she said.
"So I came in on spec just to see the situation.
"I'm standing in about a few centimetres of water as I'm speaking on the phone so I've got to commence mopping up I'm afraid."
Emergency Management Queensland (EMQ) spokesman Frank Pagano says there has been extensive damage.
"The challenge is always what's underneath that floodwater and having a better handle in relation to how much damage has happened to key infrastructure and people's homes," he said.
While the Environmental Protection Agency could not confirm reported crocodile sightings in the floodwaters, its spokesman Joe Adair says people should keep an eye out.
"Crocodiles could turn up at unexpected times," he said.
"With the floodwaters, it does disperse them and as they move around looking for a quiet place to get out of floodwaters they might move into people's places and other quieter areas."
The State Government has declared the Mackay floods a disaster situation.
State Emergency Services Minister Neil Roberts says he will travel to Mackay if necessary.
He has praised the effort of local authorities.
"If that's required then I'll certainly go, and discuss that with the Premier," he said.
"At this stage the coordination on the ground, as the executive director indicated, is working very solidly.
"We've established the teams on both sides of the river and also it's receiving support at the state level as well."
Most of the evacuations have been on the northside, but the State Member for Mackay Tim Mulherin says the CBD is also experiencing flooding.
"Parts of Shakespeare Street, Milton Street and Juliet Street have water that's on South Mackay on the southern side of the river," he said.
"Parts of Gordon Street would probably have a foot of water across it.
"So the city of Mackay is isolated. Roads are cut to the north and south."
Mackay's airport is also closed, with the departure lounge and the runway flooded.
Queensland Rail says the torrential rain has cut lines in several places between Rockhampton and Townsville.
Passengers are still stranded on board the 'Sunlander' at Mackay as a bus sent to take them further north cannot reach the flooded city.
Freight services have also been suspended north of Rockhampton, along with coal trains in the Bowen Basin.
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Can Do (Phil 4:13) added a post in a topic Would you drink milk and eat meat of cloned animals?
Can Do (Phil 4:13) added a topic in Weird and Wacky NewsText impulse leads to marriage.April 10, 2007 08:06am
A BRITISH man has met and married a 22-year-old woman after, by his own account, dreaming of her phone number and then sending her a text message.
David Brown, 24, said he woke up one morning after a night out with friends with a telephone number constantly running through his head. He decided to contact it, sending a message saying "Did I meet you last night?."
Random recipient Michelle Kitson was confused and wary at first but decided to reply and the two began exchanging messages. Eventually they met and fell in love.
"It was really weird but I was absolutely hooked," Kitson told the Daily Mail newspaper. "My mum and dad kept saying 'But he could be an axe murderer', but I knew there was something special about it."
After a long courtship, the oddly matched couple - he's six foot seven inches tall and she's five foot four - have just returned from their honeymoon in the Indian resort of Goa.
A love-struck Brown said: "I've no idea how I ended up with her number in my head - it's only a few digits different from mine."
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Can Do (Phil 4:13) added a topic in World NewsQuake lifts Solomons island out of sea...Quake lifts Solomons island out of sea
From correspondents in the Solomon Islands
April 08, 2007 05:56pm
Article from: Agence France-PresseFont size: + -
THE seismic jolt that unleashed the deadly Solomons tsunami this week lifted an entire island metres out of the sea, destroying some of the world's most pristine coral reefs.
In an instant, the grinding of the Earth's tectonic plates in the 8.0 magnitude earthquake on Monday forced the island of Ranongga up 3m.
Submerged reefs that once attracted scuba divers from around the globe lie exposed and dying after the quake raised the mountainous landmass, which is 32km long and 8km wide.
Corals that used to form an underwater wonderland of iridescent blues, greens and reds now bleach under the sun, transforming into a barren moonscape surrounding the island.
The stench of rotting fish and other marine life stranded on the reefs when the seas receded is overwhelming and the once vibrant coral is dry and crunches underfoot.
Dazed villagers stand on the shoreline, still coming to terms with the cataclysmic shift that changed the geography of their island forever, pushing the shoreline out to sea by up to 70 metres.
Aid agencies have yet to reach Ranongga after the quake and tsunami that killed at least 34 people in the Pacific archipelago but witnesses on a chartered boat saw the destruction first hand.
At Pienuna, on Ranongga's east coast, locals said much of their harbour had disappeared, leaving only a narrow inlet lined by jagged exposed coral reefs either side.
Villager Harison Gago said there were huge earthquake fissures which had almost split the island in half, gesturing with his hands that some of the cracks were 50cm wide.
Further north at Niu Barae, fisherman Hendrik Kegala had just finished exploring the new underwater landscape of the island with a snorkel.
He said a huge submerged chasm had opened up, running at least 500m parallel to the coast.
On the beach at Niu Barae, the earthquake has revealed a sunken vessel that locals believe is a Japanese patrol boat, a remnant of the fierce fighting between Allied forces and the Japanese in WWII.
Mr Kegala said that from the perspective of those on the island, the sea appeared to recede and villagers still feared it would come back again as a tsunami, making them reluctant to return from higher ground where they fled.
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