Flooding in Brisbane, Australia left 27,000 homes underwater and 100,000 without power Thursday, officials said.
Brisbane, Australia’s third-largest city, was inundated by the overflowing Brisbane River, which peaked Thursday 40 inches below feared disastrous levels. But officials say water levels will remain dangerously high until early next week, and could rise significantly again.
Floods in Australia’s northeastern state of Queensland have swamped an area the size of France and Germany combined and killed at least 23 people since the deluge began in November.
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh described the state of the city as a “war zone.”
“We’ve seen scenes of unbelievable devastation and destruction — entire suburbs where only rooftops can be glimpsed … whole industrial parks, railway stations underwater, bridges, roads all closed,” she told Sky News. “What I’m seeing looks more like a war zone in some places.”
Analysts with JPMorgan Chase & Co. predict damages could run up a $13 billion bill.
The flooding has been attributed to the La Nina ocean-atmosphere weather event.