The floods in Australia have spread south to Victoria, creating huge flood zones where crops have been destroyed and roads and railways washed away.
The flood crisis has now shifted from Queensland, where 30 people have been killed and numerous homes destroyed, to the state of Victoria. More than 3,500 people have already been evacuated.
In northern and western Victoria, 43 towns are expected to be affected by the floods and the worst is still to come as waters continue to rise.
The Victorian town of Horsham is now bracing for a “one-in-200-year flood,” Horsham Mayor Michael Ryan said.
“There’s nowhere for this water to hide. It must come through the river – it must come through Horsham,” he said.
In Queensland, premiere Anna Bligh today said two more bodies had been found in the region, bringing the death toll from the floods to 30.
The clean-up process has just begun. Officials say that 28,000 homes will need to be rebuilt and the task will run into billions of dollars.
More than 20,000 homes in Brisbane, Queensland, remain without power.
In New South Wales – also hit by the floods – 7,000 people are depending on airdrops of food and other supplies after being isolated by floodwaters.
Australia’s treasurer Wayne Swan said: “It looks like this is possibly going to be, in economic terms, the largest natural disaster in our history.
“It will involve billions of dollars of commonwealth money and also state government money, and there’s going to be impacts on local governments as well.”
He continued: “This is very big. It’s not just something which is going to occupy our time for the next few months – it will be a question of years as we go through the rebuilding.”