Officials from Queensland, Australia report that a massive flood, measuring 715,305 square miles, is threatening homes and businesses. The flood followed days of torrential and relentless rain, the worst downpour in well over 300 years, and has consumed an area of the Australian state "larger than the countries of France and Germany combined."
As a result of the flooding, thousands of residents have been evacuated. Those stranded in the muddy waters of Queensland are facing a shortage of food, drinking water, and a heightened risk of mosquito-borne disease.
Clean up efforts are estimated at an astounding "billions of dollars" per reports from Queensland Premier Anna Bligh. Bligh offered to the Australian Broadcasting Corp. the flood is "without a doubt a tragedy on an unprecedented scale." Officials expect it will be another week before clean up efforts are underway and predict massive damages to power sources, sewage systems, roads, railways, and airports. The flood has devastated crops and is predicted to affect well over 200,000 people living in the area.