Heavy rains dampen fires in Queensland, causes flooding

Image from a video shows flooded fields on the Gold Coast on Jan 18. (AP pic)

MELBOURNE: Australia’s bushfire-stricken state of Queensland saw heavy rainfalls on Sunday dampening some of the fires that have razed 2.5 million hectares of land since September, but the wet weather caused major flooding.

Some areas received a quarter of the annual average rainfall, according to Reuters’ calculations, with the state’s Bureau of Meteorology saying coastal areas experienced up to 160 millimetres of rain in the 24-hour period to 9am on Sunday.

“More rain expected over the coming days,” the bureau said on Twitter.

Several people were rescued from floodwaters and some bridges and causeways were closed, but no severe damage had been reported.

Recent rains across drought-hit Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales states have substantially dampened many of the hundreds of bushfires that have burnt an area nearly the size of Greece and killed 33 people and millions of animals since September.