Brisbane – the worst flood in 35 years by Dino Crescini

Calamvale, QLD. 11 January 2011. “It’s the worst flood in 35 years”— thus uttered Jerome Somodio when interviewed by Philippine Sentinel.

Based in Calamvale which is about 15 kms away from the Brisbane River, the youthful 29-year-old Somodio said that the river is expected to rise some 5.5 meters greater than its previous level in 1974.

He said that the lives of some 1,000 Filipinos have been affected by the flood waters in Rockhampton. Somodio added that there are about 2,000 Filipinos living in Toowoomba but the largest number — estimated to be more than 10,000 — is in Brisbane.

Nicknamed “The Garden City,” Toowoomba has an elevation of 691 meters above sea level and yet it was hit by what was described as an “inland tsunami.”

In preparation for the worst to come, an evacuation center has been established at RNA Showground in Brisbane. The center is located in Gregory Terrace at Bowen Hills, next to the Commercial Business District. It can accommodate around 3,000 evacuees.

Another area expected to be hit by the “Flood of the Century” is Ipswich, a suburb and a major urban center of metropolitan Brisbane. Four evacuation sites have been identified in the city which has a population of 160,000.

According to Jerome Somodio, there are about 30,000 homes and businesses located along the Brisbane River that will face significant flooding. The river stretches all the way to a dam in Brisbane.

Appeal for aid

Mauro Somodio who is the Founding President of the Filipino Australian Foundation of Queensland, Inc. (FAFQ) said that donations can be made through the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, BSB No. 064-105, Acct. No.1005 9338. For more information visit www.fafq.org.au

Alternatively, cheques made payable to the Filipino Australian Foundation of Queensland, Inc. can be sent directly to:
PO Box 206, Coopers Plains, QLD 4108.