January 12, 1998 in Nation/World

Australians Flee Homes As Rain Triggers Flooding, Mudslides

Compiled From Wire Services

Tropical cyclone-generated downpours created massive flooding that killed at least one man and forced more than 100 people from their homes in Queensland, authorities said Monday.

A second man was missing and presumed dead.

Sixty tourists were evacuated from Magnetic Island, one of the Great Barrier Reef island resorts, after a deluge of more than 18 inches of rain triggered flooding Saturday night and Sunday morning.

Police said the tourists, many from Europe on a snorkeling vacation, were brought five miles back to the mainland after a 300-foot-wide mudslide demolished one wing of the island’s international resort hotel.

The torrential downpour was generated by former tropical cyclone Sid. Flooding was worsened by higher than normal tides that blocked flood runoff, forcing 120 people to flee their homes, washing several houses and cars out to sea, rupturing water and sewer pipes and cutting power to wide areas.

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