A vast swathe of Australia is experiencing a flood disaster, affecting many people, their pets, livestock and Australian wildlife. They could all use our help.
Major flooding is occurring in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales and parts of my home state, South Australia, also have a flood watch current.
By far the worst affected is South East Queensland. The area now under water in that state is larger than double the size of the U.S. state of Texas. In the city of Ipswich, a bull shark was spotted swimming in the main street of one of its suburbs today – I’m not kidding. E-coli bacteria have already been detected in the flood waters of some areas.
My father is well outside the flooded zone, but with roads cut all over the state, he tells me staple food items and fuel are running out. This is a disaster that is affected even areas that are comparatively dry and will have a major effect on the state and Australia’s economy for a long time to come.
The state’s capital, Brisbane, is about to be hit with flood levels never seen before and many parts of it already look like an inland sea. But it’s not a peaceful inland sea – in some places it’s a raging torrent of muddy brown water and debris.
Aside from the human tragedy, another is unfolding for pets, livestock and wildlife swept away by the currents or left to fend for themselves. I’ve read heartbreaking stories of families being rescued, but their pets needing to be left behind. I look at Niki The Wonder Dog peacefully sleeping on the floor next to me here and try to imagine a situation where I may have to abandon her. It brings tears to my eyes even just considering such a scenario as does the thought of all the creatures on my patch of Australia perishing in such a disaster.
Niki The Wonder Dog
Imagine having to leave your beloved pets behind in a disaster
such as is unfolding in Queensland’s floods.
Life will go on as it always does after this passes and there are already appeals in place to help alleviate the human suffering. But once the water subsides, there will be so many injured animals and lost pets needing to be taken care of. Food drops will need to be made in some cases to keep animals alive while the water subsides.
If you can spare a few dollars, RSPCA (Royal Society For The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Queensland is calling for donations that can be used to purchase pet, livestock and wildlife supplies in areas affected by the current flood crisis.
Australians can donate online here:
US or Canadian residents can call toll free on 1866 539 6589.
*** I tried calling the RSPCA this afternoon to determine what hours their donation hotline is operating for overseas readers, but had trouble getting through, possibly due to the flood situation affecting phone lines. If you are in Canada or the USA and trying to make a donation, please persist or shoot them an email via firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.
It’s an awful situation, but I remind myself that nature is not cruel, nor is it kind. It is indifferent to the individual or even many individuals. It is strictly big picture. The environment demands balance and when imbalances appear, corrections are made that can be violent.
What role human activity played in the severity of this disaster is already popping up in conversations, but I feel it is a debate for another time. There are more pressing issues to be addressed right now – focusing efforts on the people in need and helping all creatures great and small affected in what is shaping up to be Australia’s worst flood disaster.