Floods: Flood and Natural Disaster

Topics: Flood, Brisbane, Water waves Pages: 5 (1327 words) Published: October 23, 2013

“This is very big ... It will be a question of years as we go through the rebuilding.”

In January 2011, the state capital of Queensland, Brisbane, faced the second highest flood since the start of the 20th century. Major flooding occurred throughout the Brisbane River catchment, the Lockyer Creek and Bremer River. Which has now fundamentally impacted the residential property market. At the peak of the flood, approximately 11,900 homes were completely flooded while a further 14,700 homes were partially flooded. Numerous flood height records were broken and many suffered vastly from economic, social and environmental impacts. However, to what extent did the severity of the economic impact have on the communities and industries after a critical natural disaster? The disruption in Brisbane includes effects on major industries such as agriculture, tourism, retail trade and manufacturing. The research posed in this paper was evaluated from the economic impact after the floods and the statistics highlight the significance of the effects from the natural disaster.

The impacts from flooding depend greatly on the location and the extent of the flood. It also differs significantly on the vulnerability and value of the natural and constructed environments it affects. Flash floods cause more damage than slow-rising floods because of the velocity of the flow and also the depth and duration of the flash flood. Flash flooding was an issue in the Lockyer Valley and Toowoomba regions as there were immediate impacts including property damage, crop destruction, loss of farm animals and infrastructure.

Lockyer Valley town during the 2011 floods.

Due to the destruction of infrastructure such as roads and bridges, it put all economic jobs to a halt, resulting in a disturbance of normal life for the remainder of the flooding. Correspondingly, the same outcome, in agriculture and business, lead to the loss of jobs. Even in non-flooded areas were out of business from the spill over effect from flooded companies. Everyone was affected in one way or another.

The damage to infrastructure also caused long-term effects such as water and electricity supply, communication services, transport, education and health care. From the loss of livelihood and sustained economic impacts it triggered population displacement throughout many towns. The role of the state and federal governments was to rebuild from this natural disaster. Residential home owners and business owners have completed a substantial amount of infrastructure after the flooding.

In Australia, floods are the most expensive type of natural disaster with non-stop reconstruction from 1967-2005. The cost averaged at $377 million per year to repair flood damage. The 1974 Australia floods which affected, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland resulted in a total of $2.9 billion. However, from the 2011 floods in Queensland, the damage from the infrastructure throughout the entire state, so far has costs $6 billion, but is predicted by the end of the year to have cost $10 billion.

The Queensland floods cause major disruption to 10% of businesses nationally and 25% of businesses in Queensland. Therefore, the economic activity has slowed down since the floods. In particular the coal market was greatly affected since it is a huge service market. Since the floods swamped mines in Queensland, many operations were put to a halt. These operations produce 25% of Australia’s estimated 300 million metric ton of coal. This created havoc for the coal companies in Australia and places businesses out of action. The flooding affected the entire coal chain in the country. As a result, US coal companies were transporting coal overseas for companies in other states, since Queensland was could supply what was needed.

The Queensland farming industry is an essential network in Australia’s food chain, as it stocks 28% of Australia’s fruit and...
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