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Geography case studies
The 2010-2011 Queensland floods
Floods struck December 2010 and lasted till January 2011
Affected Brisbane and its state Queensland.
¾ of the state of Brisbane declared a disaster zone
Affected an area larger than France and Germany combined
2.1 million affected
In Brisbane 11,000 homes and 2,500 completely flooded
Intense rainfall from the tropical cyclone `Tasha' which formed because of record high sea
temperatures near off the coat of Queensland and joined with a trough in a la Nina event.
The 2010 la Nina was the strongest since 1973.
The Brisbane area is relatively low lying and this causes areas to flood quickly
Many areas such as Toowoomba had experienced drought for 10 years so the ground was very
dry and was unable to let water percolate through it so surface runoff was more prominent
which allowed the water to reach rivers more quickly so increased the chance of flooding.
December 2010 was Queensland's wettest on record
Experts say that events like the floods of 2010/2011 will become more common as climate
change increases as the water has a higher chance of being over 37 degrees warm. Rising sea
levels will also cause flooding to become more likely. Australia needs to find new solutions to
flooding as the old flood prevention methods don't take into consideration climate change and
rising sea levels as when the 2010/2011 floods struck the dams and levees didn't work.
Social- economic effects
Thousands of people had to be evacuated this was especially distressing as the floods
happened during Christmas and new-year celebrations.
Floods killed 35 people and as of June 2012 6 people are still classified as `missing'
20,000 homes in Brisbane were deemed `unliveable' after the flooding. Many had to be
The floods damaged many of Brisbane's tourist attractions such as the wheel of Brisbane
this will decrease tourism revenues.
1/3 of Brisbane became inundated with water over 1100 people had to take shelter in
Brisbane's suncorp stadium which is used for rugby league and football was flooded with 2
metres of water with water reaching the 4th row of seats of the stadium.
The queen donated a large sum of money to help those affected by the floods
Emergency services were put under strain as well as the army
Prices of food went up as so many crops were destroyed. Agricultural losses equate to
2.08 billion. Floods devastated more than ¾ of Australia's 400 million dollar worth banana
crops. Prices of bananas in the country increased by 500% in some cases. Also sugarcane
producers lost up to 30% of their harvest. This increased the price of sugar worldwide as
Australia is the 3rd largest sugarcane producer in the world.
300 roads were closed including 9 major highways
Coal mines had to be closed
The goonyella railway line had to be closed for a week.
Rockhampton airport had to be closed for a day
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The town of goondwindi had to evacuate its local hospital and elderly care home as a
Many businesses affected.
Coal mines were forced to close as mining sites were flooded around 15% of the annual
state output was lost. The mining sector lost 2.5 billion.
Swimming pool salt was in short supply in Australia as salt mines near rockhampton were
Milk farmers were affected as milk had to be dumped as it couldn't be transported for