Skip to main content

Police: Flood toll climbs in Australia as search continues for missing

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • The Queensland premier says an investigation will look at the state's dams
  • Police say 12 people are missing in the northeastern state
  • "We have homes and lives torn apart," Premier Anna Bligh told reporters

(CNN) -- The death toll from flooding in the northeastern Australian state of Queensland has risen to 20, police said Monday.

The Queensland Police Service said authorities were still searching for 12 people missing in the flood-ravaged state.

In a televised interview four weeks after the state's flood crisis began, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said Monday that an investigation would analyze whether river dams "work as they're supposed to and are operated as well as they technically can be," according to a transcript of the interview published on the government's website.

On Sunday, Bligh told reporters that recovering from flooding would be a "reconstruction task of post-war proportions."

Brisbane gets back to business
  • Brisbane
  • Queensland
  • Australia

"We have homes and lives torn apart," she said.

Police said Monday that 15 evacuation centers housed 1,300 people overnight across Queensland.

Since January 10, police have located 410 people who were reported as missing, the police service said in a statement.

Part of complete coverage on
Floods threaten Great Barrier Reef
Floods have devastated the landscape of the state of Queensland, Australia, but they also present a high risk to the Great Barrier Reef.
Australian flooding in images
Three quarters of the state of Queensland in Australia have been declared a disaster zone after torrential rain threatened the worst flooding in 37 years.
Shelter evacuates animals
More than 500 animals -- including sheep, ducks, goats, a peacock, horses, dogs and cats -- were evacuated from Queensland's largest shelter.
Economic toll of 'Australia's Katrina'
The devastating floodwaters are soaking one of the few economic success stories in the developed world since the Great Recession.
Survivors: River 'flowing like mad'
Brisbane in eastern Australian is reeling from wide-ranging floods that are threatening to exceed the damage done by the record 1974 floods.
From drought to flood
Brisbane is more accustomed to drought than flood. Residents usually adhere to strict water restrictions during the long wait for rain.