More on the Australian Fires

From the BBC news: Australia fires: A visual guide to the bushfire crisis. Thanks to Ian McLean for the citation.

Update on Jan.6 from CNN: Smoke in Australia’s capital is so bad that the agency responsible for emergency management shut down

Update on Jan.7:  Number Of Animals Feared Dead In Australia’s Wildfires Soars To Over 1 Billion. Ecologists at the University of Sydney and WWF Australia estimate that a billion is a conservative figure.


New Recovery Agency in Queensland, Australia

Queensland to create permanent disaster recovery agency. New body to get $30m annual funding to deal with aftermath of increased number of severe natural disasters caused by climate change.

The Queensland government is to establish Australia’s first permanent disaster recovery agency to deal with a future of more extreme cyclones and floods brought on by climate change.

Deputy premier Jackie Trad said it was inevitable that Queensland, which already “bears the brunt of most of the natural disasters that beset Australia”, would face more catastrophes, more often.

The Queensland Reconstruction Authority – originally set up to deal with the 2011 floods, rated by the World Bank as Australia’s largest natural disaster of recent years – was due to wind up in June.
The argument for divesting from fossil fuels is becoming overwhelming
Read more

But Trad said new laws before parliament this week would make the agency – currently dealing with the aftermath of 14 natural disasters between 2013 and 2014 alone – a permanent arm of government costing about $30m a year.

Note from the Diva: Queensland is one of six states in Australia. (I had to look it up.)  I am not aware of any state in the U.S. that has created an agency to deal with recovery.

New Resources from Australia

Two papers from down under that you might find interesting. From the Australian Business Roundtable site, here are two new white papers:

  •  Building an Open Platform for Disaster Resilience Decisions (released July 2014) or see the media release.
  • Building our Nation’s Resilience to Natural Disasters’ (released June 2013) or see the media release.


Thanks to Dudley McArdle for sending me the citation.






Flood Mitigation Efforts in Other Countries


The U.S. is not the only country trying to think ahead and find ways to mitigate future flood damage.  Queensland has experienced many devastating floods in recent years and is working to anticipate and aboid future flood damamges. Here are two sources of more information about their present efforts:

News Clip :

Government Report:

One more article, citing additional reports that explain the Australian approach to flood management. Feb. 15.


Article covers several decades of flood experience in the U.K.


Thanks for Chris Jones for point out these resources to me.

Governance and Disaster Management – an update

I remain intrigued with governance matters with regard to recovery.  Today I ran across a short (7 page) cogent paper on that topic, issued by the UN’s Knowledge for Recovery Series; the title is Why Governance Issues Are  Important in Recovery?  I recommend the Series site as well as the short paper.

A week or so ago, I provided a link to three interesting papers from the  Australia and New Zealand School of Government, which is supported by several universities, government agencies, and other organizations. I especially liked the paper titled “Governing the Recovery from the Canterbury Earthquake 2010-2011: the debate over Institutional Design” by Rachel Brookie.

I would like to see more research done on governance regarding the U.S. and Canadian systems. I am especially interested in any analyses of the Canadian EM governance system; any suggestions from readers would be appreciated.

Note to graduate students: this topic is wide open for original research!

Queensland, Australia – new recovery organization created

Queensland, Australia

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday I read that about 70% of the entire population of Queensland, Australia has been affected by the recent floods and cyclone.  Today in the Wall St. Journal that indicate that a new organization has been created to deal with the recovery process.  This article is a bit brief, but I expect more details will be known in the coming days.

One more article from the Adelaide newspaper, Feb. 7.  The issues surely do sound familiar – how to spend large amounts of money efficiently and effectively……

In Queensland, Australia the focus on recovery from Cyclone Yasi begins

Cyclone Yasi

From ABC news in Australia, we get the following details about the beginning of recovery planning.  Some pictures of the cyclone aftermath can be seen here.

Cyclone poised to hit Queensland, Australia

Tropical Cyclone Yasi (08P) on January 17, 1996.

Image via Wikipedia

Queensland has just recently experienced massive floods and now it is about to be hit with a Category 5 cyclone, with winds of record speed expected. See this clip for some details on the pending catastrophic storm.

See this dramatic graphic and related article in the Huffington Post today.

To the people of Queensland, we wish you good luck!  Stay calm and be safe.

Huge Economic and Financial Impacts of Australia Floods

Location of Queensland on Australia.

Image via Wikipedia

Australian treasurer: economic toll from flooding ‘will be enormous;” CNN;January 23. In his first economic note of 2011, Swan said “it’s still too early to quantify the impact with any certainty at this stage.” But he said there’s “no question that the economic impact of these floods will be enormous.” Swan said the floods have devastated crops, tourism, retail and manufacturing and have disrupted major urban areas like Brisbane.

“One of the biggest casualties is likely to be our coal exports, with many mines shut down in big coal mining regions like the Bowen Basin, and supply chains severely hampered…”
“While this will be partly offset by higher prices, the loss of production will be hit much harder.”
Swan said the government has already made about $227 million in disaster recovery payments to people who have been affected by the floods.
“Over the coming weeks, months and years, the Commonwealth Government will be investing billions of dollars to get Queensland back on its feet…”

Flooding in Australia-catastrophic impacts

Pictures of the Newcastle, NSW, Australia Floo...

Image via Wikipedia

January 5: Catastrophic impacts on infrastructure are reported; see Yahoo News Account. According to BBC TV this evening they estimate more than 1 million sq. kilometers are affected!

On January 4th: Crocodiles, snakes are danger in flooded Australia.

ROCKHAMPTON, Australia – Residents of an Australian city cut off by some of the country’s worst flooding in decades are being warned to stay out of the water, and not just because of the risk of being swept away: Debris, snakes and even crocodiles could also pose a danger.

Large parts of the coastal city of Rockhampton were under water Tuesday. The waters were still rising, with the 75,000-strong population bracing for the floods’ expected peak in the next 24 hours as a huge inland sea spawned by heavy rain across Queensland state drains toward the ocean.

Australia Floods; BBC, Dec. 31. In this article, the author notes an interesting sequence for consideration during recovery. The economic losses are paramount in his mind, rather than community reconstruction.  This sequence also is seen in resort communities, especially in countries with mild weather so citizens can be sheltered outdoors.

I think that the least of our worry is the damage to small communities. Communities get rebuilt.

These floods are going to affect the state, the whole nation. It’s going to have a huge impact on mining commodities – several coal mines are under water and some won’t be operational for months.

There’ll be coal shortage and our ability to produce electricity will be affected. Certainly it will be an interesting start of the year and of the decade.”