It’s been a devastating few weeks for people living in Queensland. Probably regarded as the second worst floods in our history, January 2011 has been a time full of horror and heartbreak.
More than 30 people died, entire towns wiped out, city suburbs inundated, restaurants and pontoons floating down our iconic river and hopes lost over a series of nervous days and nights.
Rabindra and I were not affected at all, we are on a hill in a safe area. My family members and friends were all OK.
We did our part over the weekend helping people clean up and volunteering by serving up food and drinks to the army, SES, volunteers and victims.
Unless you went out to see the places that were hit, it was hard to comprehend what was happening like the following image displayed on our TV screens.
One comparison explained how it was like the entire UK under water.
I can only describe what I saw as a war zone. We had people coming up to us and crying for the memories they’d lost.
We had little moments watching people covered from head to toe in mud emerge from their home onto the street and just look back at their homes which once held all the memories of their life. They wept in silence.
In times like this, Australia, particularly our city of Brisbane, is a wonderfully proud place to live.
The response by volunteers was enormous- more than 50,000 people made a call to arms to help strangers they’d never ever met.
The council had to actually turn people away as there were so many people willing to help an unknown friend in need.
A concept called “Baked relief” was born quickly where people start baking foods for those with no electricity, homes damaged and no access to shops.
What I found interesting was a reflection by Rabindra.
He said that in Nepal, while community and village life is incredibly close, you wouldn’t see the same type of unity and generosity if the same thing happened there.
He said people are firstly concerned with their families but there would not be an overwhelming response like what we had here. He said it was beautiful and amazing to see.
I wanted to share a few photos with you from a gallery entitled “Four Days that broke our Hearts” by couriermail.com.au
The anguish is painted over all the faces left in the wake of this devastating event.
We will never understand those horrifying last seconds some people spent being pulled under raging waters or swept away as they tried to cling to trees.
For some it was even worse- having to say bye forever to loved ones ripped from their arms.
This is a small tribute to the families of every person who lost their live in the Queensland floods and to those who watched it all unfold.
And my favourite: