Australia's Queensland Hit by Heavy Rains

Australia's northeastern state of Queensland has been hit by nearly two weeks of heavy rain as Cyclone Tasha crashed along the nation's coast. The New York Times reported that at least 200,000 people in an area the size of France and Germany have been affected by the flooding, according to Paul Birch, senior hydrologist at the Bureau of Meteorology. So far, nine people have died due to the floods, and another is missing and presumed dead.

Emergency response authorities in Queensland said it could take months to recover from the floods. Prime Minister Julia Gillard extended emergency relief to communities affected by the waters, and acknowledged that the monetary damage from the floods might run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

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