[youtube]AOWbl_mjgr0[/youtube] Flash flood swamps Toowoomba, QueenslandA raging torrent of murky flood water surged through the Queensland city of Toowoomba around midday today, Jan. 10, claiming at least four lives with several more people missing, ABC News reported.
People watched helplessly as the flash flood picked up speed in the central business area, pushing cars against each other, into trees, or sweeping them along in the swift currents, some with people still inside.
Three children were washed away in nearby Withcott, in the Lockyer Valley and have not been found, Toowoomba's local newspaper, the Chronicle reported.
Mayor Peter Taylor says the damage is enormous and Toowoomba is in shock.
"There has been loss of life, I don't know how many at this point … and there's massive damage," he said, according to ABC.
Fire and Rescue Service Assistant Commissioner Tom Dawson said there were dozens of calls for help at the peak of the flood, including many that were life-threatening. He said many of the people who needed rescuing were trapped on roofs and in buildings, according to the ABC.
Meanwhile the Queensland Premier's Flood Relief Appeal has passed the $30 million mark with donations pouring in from around the nation, including $1 million donations from the state governments of New South Wales and Victoria.