The magnitude of the Victorian fires have distracted us from the other natural disaster unfolding, fortunately with less loss of life, in north Queensland. There the problem has been massive flooding. The town of Ingham was inundated twice in a week and other towns have also been affected. Roads are still cut in many places. Now the thunderstorms are delivering torrential rain further down the coast around Mackay and Rockhampton although major flooding is not expected there. The flood waters are bringing other problems. Saltwater crocdiles are able to venture further inland by following swollen streams and a child was reported to have been taken by one. As well there is an outbreak of dengue fever as mosquitos breed in flooded areas. My heart goes out to you all.
But even in this tragic situation there is some benefit. The flood waters are slowly making their way through the river system bringing much needed water to some of the pastoral areas and in about three or four weeks they may reach Lake Eyre. If we are lucky this usually dry inland sea in the centre of the continent will fill. This is a rare event but when it does occur it becomes a massive breeding ground for waterbirds, feasting on the fish and other creatures carried in by the flood waters. How they know there is water available is a mystery but they flock in thousands from all over the country. It's been one of my dreams to see this. I'll keep you posted if or when it happens.