Australia news updates live: Queensland floods death toll at seven; PM offers military support for Lismore; nine Covid deaths recorded

 

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Australia news updates live: Queensland floods death toll at seven; PM offers military support for Lismore; nine Covid deaths recorded” was written by Matilda Boseley, for theguardian.com on Sunday 27th February 2022 22.31 UTC

Hundreds of people have taken to social media to beg for those with private boats to help stranded loved ones. Here is a just a small portion of these posts.

More from Brisbane:

Just for a brief change of pace. Here are some Ukrainian farmers stealing a Russian tank.

Here are the scenes back up north from Brisbane.

More from Lismore.

NSW records six Covid deaths and 5,856 new cases

Victoria records three Covid deaths and 5,852 new infections

The Lismore Mayor has been posting to Facebook urging people with private boats to help those in dire straits.

In the comments, someone has posted about their friend in a wheelchair who is stuck in his home.

Our friend is in 72 Casino St South Lismore, he is in a wheelchair with MS, he and his wife are stuck in there house with water up to his lap.

They have called 000 but no one can get to them. So scared.

Also, my 85yr old dad is on the roof of his house at 39 Casino St. Both houses have never had water in them ever.

We are out of town so can’t get in … so scared

Updated

PM offers military support to Lismore

ABC News Breakfast is reporting that the prime minister has offered military support to the NSW premier to help with rescue operations in Lismore.

A woman named Katie Davey in Lismore, who is trapped on the roof of their home, has told ABC New Breakfast that she can hear an elderly couple trapped in their roof cavity unable to get out as floodwaters rise.

We have an elderly couple next to us who are stuck in their roof cavity. They can’t get out. They’re banging on the roof and screaming for help and we can’t help them.

Host Michael Rowland:

And the water is rising in their house?

Davey:

Yeah, it’s – it’s rising rapidly, like, they desperately need help. And every house in our street, if you look, there’s people perched on their roof.

Rowland:

Just going back to that elderly couple – I want to make this clear – they’re stuck inside the roof cavity?

Davey:

Inside their roof. Their house number is 213 Casino Street in South Lismore and [they’re] stuck in their roof.

Updated

Some more scenes from the catastrophically high flood waters in Lismore, just below the Queensland border.

An emergency alert has been issued for Loganholme this morning, with flood waters expected to rise 1.5m above the 2017 high.

Brisbane residents face an anxious morning, with the Bureau of Meteorology issuing a major flood warning overnight after a “rain bomb” dumped more than 400mm of rain on parts of the already-sodden city on Sunday.

The discovery of a man’s body in Brisbane’s north took the death toll from these floods to seven, while two more people remain missing.

Flood waters in the Brisbane CBD were expected to peak at 4.0 metres at high tide, slightly below the peak of 4.46 metres recorded in 2011, but authorities warned the two flood events were very different and some suburbs have already experienced worse damage than in 2011.

You can read the full report from Ben Smee and Tory Shepherd below:

Updated

Guardian reporter Ben Smee is out in Brisbane this morning, bringing up the updates.

If it’s flooded, forget it: Morrison

Scott Morrison has spoken to 4BC Radio in Brisbane about flooding throughout Queensland and northern NSW.

Morrison said it was a “very serious and anxious time” and the commonwealth has “activated assistance in a range of areas”, including the ADF and emergency payments of $1,000 for each adult and $400 for each child to flow from tomorrow.

He said:

The most important thing is to be in a safe place, because moving around is very dangerous. If it’s flooded, forget it. If you are in a place of safety, remain there … [People think] ‘I could get across there, I need this’. But a moment’s convenience could turn very fatal.

Morrison also spoke about Australia’s announcement it would finance lethal aid for Ukraine to combat the Russian invasion. A further humanitarian aid package is also being developed.

Asked about Vladimir Putin putting nuclear forces on high alert, Morrison said it was a “reckless thing to say in these circumstances”. The invasion has “focused the minds of the world” on the division between “autocratic, bullying states” and “liberal democracies that aren’t going to stand for it”, he said.

Updated

Evacuation order for Lismore

There is widespread flooding in the Northern Rivers district of NSW and authorities have ordered people in the city of Lismore to evacuate as the Wilson River broke its levee overnight, AAP reports.

The entire Lismore CBD is inundated after days of unrelenting torrential rain and the Bureau of Meteorology says the Wilson River could peak at 13.5 metres on Monday night, meaning the city is facing its worst flooding in nearly 50 years.

“Flood levels are expected to exceed those seen in 2017 and may reach the 1974 flood level,” the BoM says.

A severe weather warning has been issued for the Northern Rivers and parts of the Mid North Coast and Northern Tablelands.

There is flooding across the region, many roads are cut and the State Emergency Service is warning people to heed warnings and avoid entering floodwaters.

The BoM is warning of the potential for life-threatening flash flooding with six-hourly rainfall totals between 80-120mm likely, possibly reaching in excess of 150mm.

The Richmond River is causing major flooding at Kyogle, Coraki and Bungawalbyn, moderate flooding at Woodburn, and minor flooding at Wiangaree and Casino.

South Murwillumbah has also been evacuated as roads are cut and the only way out is by boat.

The SES ordered the town of Mullumbimby to evacuate on Monday morning as the area is threatened by rapidly rising floodwaters from the Brunswick River.

Fire and Rescue and the State Emergency Service have been door knocking to ensure people evacuate.

Updated

Frydenberg says Putin has territorial ambitions beyond just Ukraine

Josh Frydenberg was asked if he believed the Russian president Vladimir Putin could turn the invasion into Ukraine nuclear.

He says it’s no secret that Putin may have ambitions beyond simply controlling Ukraine.

No one wants to see an escalation … but these are the dangers of the times and the insanity of what Putin has done … I’m worried there could be an escalation beyond the borders …

I’m worried that there could be an escalation beyond the borders and no doubt. That’s what other European nations or neighbouring countries are concerned about …

I don’t think it’s a secret that, I think it’s know that he’s got a greater Russia objective here.

Updated

Frydenberg discusses financial support for Ukraine

Australia has again escalated our economic support of Ukraine, committing to buying lethal weapons to help them repel invading Russian forces.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is speaking to ABC radio about this now.

Just to get a sense of when will we find out the amount of money we’re committing to this issue … we’re working the details through you will find out probably today.

I mean, we’re going to start with an initial payment. It will be in the millions, and it’s not going to be the same sort of quantum that United States or the United Kingdom would provide but you know, where we can …

We’ve been very forthright in calling on the United States and European partners to remove Russia’s access to Swift, the international payment system which is so important is so important for Russian companies in Russian banks.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. Photograph: Reuters

Updated

Good morning

Good morning all, it’s Matilda Boseley here to bring you all the news updates this morning.

Of course, we have to start in Queensland where the death toll from the flood has risen to seven after a 59-year-old Carseldine man died at Fitzgibbon, a suburb north of Brisbane, on Sunday afternoon.

Police say he was trying to cross Cabbage Tree Creek on foot when he was swept away. Two witnesses raised the alarm and went to his aid but despite their best efforts and those of attending paramedics he died at the scene.

Major flood warnings are in place for areas from Gympie in Queensland to Grafton in northern NSW, as the intense rain storm moves south over the border.

While the rain has eased, Brisbane’s lord mayor, Adrian Schrinner, said that flood water is set to peak at 4m around 8am today, a full meter higher than yesterday’s peak.

At the moment in Brisbane, we have around 200 to 300 people in the evacuation centres.

In terms of SES calls, just yesterday, we had almost 1,000 SES calls for help … There have been a lot of lives saved already, but, tragically, still too many lives have been lost and that’s why we’re saying – stay away, stay indoors, stay safe.

Almost a thousand schools will be closed in 13 local government areas on Monday, and residents are being warned to avoid all nonessential travel.

Transport and main roads minister Mark Bailey says there will be significant road closures and limited public transport options across the region.

We’ve had to close parts of the Gateway Motorway, Ipswich Motorway, Bruce Highway, and dozens of major roads across south-east Queensland.

In some areas, including Lismore, even houses on stilts are flooding, with residents forced to shelter on their roofs and await rescue.

I’ll bring you more updates throughout the morning. Let’s jump into the day.

Updated

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