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Military called in as deadly floods batter northeast Australia

Published on Jan 29, 2013 2:36 PM
 
This aerial handout photo taken on Jan 29, 2013 by Queensland Premier Campbell Newman, shows floodwaters surrounding properties in the town of Bundaberg in Australia's Queensland state. Australia ramped up its military response to deadly floodwaters rising in the country's sodden northeast on Tuesday which have killed four people and displaced or isolated tens of thousands. -- PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia ramped up its military response to deadly floodwaters rising in the country's sodden northeast on Tuesday which have killed four people and displaced or isolated tens of thousands.

Storms triggered by ex-tropical cyclone Oswald have claimed four lives - the most recent a three-year-old boy killed by a falling tree - as heavy rains have brought flooding to the states of Queensland and New South Wales.

The sugar farming town of Bundaberg waited anxiously for the swollen Burnett River to peak at a record 9.6m, with officials saying some 2,000 homes and 300 businesses were flooded.

Queensland Police Minister Jack Dempsey said about 7,500 residents had been displaced by the floodwaters, with 1,000 people plucked from the roofs of their homes in daring evening rescues after the river broke its banks late on Monday.

 
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