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Australian floods inundate Queensland towns

Enlarge Image credit: MODIS Rapid Response Team/NASA GSFC MORE IMAGES

The northeastern Australian state of Queensland remains burdened by deadly floods that have affected hundreds of thousands of residents in the past several days.

A tropical cyclone and heavy rainfall around Christmas inundated numerous river basins, affecting 200,000 people across an area larger than Texas or France, according to the Associated Press. Four people have been killed in the deluge, and six others in the state have succumbed to floods since late November, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. The newspaper reports that 22 central Queensland towns are underwater or cut off by the floodwaters.

The Earth-observing Terra satellite, managed by NASA for an international consortium, photographed the swollen Fitzroy, Mackenzie, Comet and Dawson rivers in Queensland on December 31. At Rockhampton, a city on the Fitzroy with more than 60,000 residents, military aircraft are bringing in supplies after road closures cut the city off from the rest of the state. And floodwaters are still rising at Rockhampton; the Australian Bureau of Meteorology expects the river's height will peak at up to 9.4 meters there on January 5.

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