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Department of Defence Update
Operation QUEENSLAND FLOOD ASSIST
( Minister for Defence Stephen Smith with Defence personnel from Army and Navy )
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has established a Joint Task Force for Operation QUEENSLAND FLOOD ASSIST in response to the flood crisis in Queensland.
A headquarters has been established at the Enoggera Army base in Brisbane to provide the best possible support to the Queensland Government response to the flood crisis. It is commanded by Colonel Luke Foster.
Defence continues to operate closely with Queensland Emergency Services to provide subject matter expertise, planning, and coordination of ADF helicopters, aircraft, equipment and personnel as part of the response efforts.
(Minister for Defence Stephen Smith, speaks to Major Smith about the Army support to the flood crisis.)
The Task Force has the flexibility to respond to a broad range of contingencies across the flood-affected areas and currently consists of about 600 personnel spread between Brisbane, Rockhampton, Townsville, Amberley, Roma, Theodore, St George and the Lockyer Valley. Liaison has also commenced with NSW emergency services to support NSW should the need arise.
Defence is restructuring the Joint Task Force to support the initial restoration phase of recovery efforts over the next four weeks. The Task Force will increase to approximately 1,200 personnel.
Assets assigned to supporting the Queensland floods are:
(as at 14 January 3.30pm)
•Two Air Force King Air aircraft for personnel transport and supply tasking.
•An Air Force King Air aircraft to support survey operations of the affected areas.
•A water purification unit.
•An Army CH47 Chinook helicopter from Townsville available for heavy lift support.
•Three Navy Sea King helicopters based at Amberley moving supplies and personnel.
•Two Navy Augusta A109 helicopters.
•Nine Army Black Hawk helicopters based at Amberley assisting in search and recovery evacuations.
The Task Force is also supported by a number of specialist teams and assets that can be deployed to any region. This includes Air Force C-130J Hercules aircraft and Air Load Teams as well as an Army Petroleum Detachment to support helicopter refuelling operations.
More Information: www.defence.gov.au...
Troops to be doubled for floods
(PM Julia Gillard with ADF personnel)
The number of defence force personnel involved in the Queensland flood operation will be doubled to 1200, Prime Minister Julia Gillard says.
'This will be the biggest deployment for a natural disaster since Cyclone Tracy,' Ms Gillard said at Amberley air base west of Brisbane on Friday. Ms Gillard said, after talks with Defence Minister Stephen Smith and military chiefs, 'Now is the right time to dramatically increase the number of defence personnel who are working in Queensland to assist with the Queensland floods.'
The prime minister on Friday spoke with ADF personnel at the air base, ahead of a visit to the flood-ravaged Lockyer Valley west of Brisbane.
'It's so important at this time that townships that have been isolated can still get vital supplies,' she said. Ms Gillard said the increased defence presence was vital for the recovery effort.
Images Courtesy: 188.8.131.52...
BOM - Cyclone updates
(Issued at 4:59 pm EST Friday 14 January 2011)
Tropical Cyclone Zelia is currently moving east southeast away from the Australian coast. It has begun to move in a south-eastward direction and should maintain this track while intensifying through the next 24 to 48 hours. It will have no impact upon Australia.
National Map / Alerts:
*** BOM Flash Bulletin ****
Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology
Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre
TROPICAL CYCLONE INFORMATION BULLETIN
For 4:51 pm EST on Friday 14 January 2011
At 4 pm EST Friday, Tropical Cyclone Zelia (Category 1) with central pressure
992 hPa was located
over the Coral Sea
near latitude 12.8 south longitude 151.5 east, which is about 770 km northeast
of Cairns and 425 km north northeast of Willis Is.
The cyclone is moving east southeast at about 15 kilometres per hour.
Tropical Cyclone Zelia is currently moving east southeast away from the
Australian coast. It has begun to move in a south-eastward direction and should
maintain this track while intensifying through the next 24 to 48 hours. It will
have no impact upon Australia.
The next Information Bulletin will be issued by 11 pm EST today.
Full Source / Further Information: www.bom.gov.au...
Flood-hit residents return home to rooftop cow
As Ipswich residents return home to scenes of flooded households, one couple came home to a more peculiar sight — a cow perched on their neighbour's rooftop.
PHOTOS: Floods hit Queensland
John and Sherry Jewell, from North Booval, couldn't believe their eyes when they spotted the brown bovine standing on the shingle roof looking down on them yesterday.
"We were standing on the edge of the cul de sac and the houses goes down a hill and the cow was just standing there looking at us, looking at it," Mrs Jewell told ninemsn.
"It didn't look scared or freaked out, it looked very relaxed: 'Oh yeah, I'm dealing with my situation no problems'."
Army of volunteers roll up sleeves in Qld
On Saturday, she was one of an army of volunteers who turned out to help people clean homes and businesses hit hard by the Brisbane and Ipswich flooding.
"We were actually at Toowoomba when it hit," the Victoria Point woman said as she helped strip a stranger's Rocklea home totally wrecked by floodwaters.
"We saw the streets flooded ... it pulls on the heartstrings so we just wanted to come and help.
"It didn't affect us up at Toowoomba. You just think yourself so lucky
Some more images:
Volunteer numbers exceed expectations
A 7000-strong army of volunteers has been dispatched to flood-stricken areas of Brisbane as the massive floods clean-up effort gets underway.
After receiving many calls from people wanting to help those affected by the disaster, the city's Lord Mayor Campbell Newman set up volunteer registration centres at Doomben Racecourse, Boondall Entertainment Centre, Mount Coot-tha Botanic Gardens and the MacGregor High School Assembly Hall.
The response exceeded expectation.
On Saturday morning, about 7000 people had armed themselves with mops, brooms and other cleaning products, and poured into those centres before being bussed out to areas in need.
Qld to be recovering in two years - Wayne Swan MP
Queensland will still be recovering from widespread, destructive flooding two years from now, federal Treasurer Wayne Swan says.
In the past few weeks, billions of dollars of damage has been wreaked upon infrastructure, major industries such as mining, as well as homes and businesses across 75 per cent of Queensland.
Implications for the state and national economy are far-reaching.
Mr Swan said statewide recovery would take 'enormous financial reserves' but the government would do whatever was required.
'What we have to do in the days, weeks and years ahead is commit ourselves to doing everything we possibly can to help those people and to help those communities,' he told reporters on Saturday.
Flood missing revised down to 28-
The number of people missing after Queensland's flood crisis has fallen to 28.
The figure has been revised down from 53.
The death toll from the floods remains at 16.
A police spokesman said the number reported missing was revised down overnight into Saturday, but did not have details as to why.
Read More: bigpondnews.com...
Flood Update No 6 from Telstra
Jan 15 2011
Telstra restoration works are progressing well. We continue to repower, repair and restore network sites wherever possible so that more customers can be connected.
Power, access to our sites, and damage by flood waters to our infrastructure continues to be the biggest challenge in repairing our network.
There are still some customers that will be experiencing issues with their landline, mobile, and broadband/Foxtel services, but this number is declining due to greater access to network sites and power being restored.
It is important to note that even though we are seeing improvement in services being connected, we still have a long road ahead in repairing the network, and we will see customer impacts vary over that time.
There has been a decline in the number of areas that are inaccessible. As it becomes safe, Telstra crews will move in to repower and repair network infrastructure to get customers connected as quickly as we can. There are around 160 areas where we cannot access network sites due to safety reasons.
Latest restoration activity:
•Mobile services restored at Grantham.
•Optic Fibre Cable damage between Dalby and Kingaroy was repaired around 8pm last night.
•Services restored at the Fernvale Exchange and Mt Crosby Exchange yesterday.
•Power has been restored to Derri Derra exchange and work continues today to restore services.
•Request made to Telstra to provide landline services to a new recovery centre in Grafton – these services will be connected today.
More Information from Telstra AU
Originally posted by q_ball
I think we should get the damage cleared soon and people will go on with there lives I think the australian people as a whole are very generous and also very resilient