2011 became famous, or should that be infamous, for two things, protests and extreme weather. From the heavy prolonged snowfalls in the UK early in 2011, to earthquakes such as those in New Zealand and Japan, the Japanese Tsunami and flooding in Australia, severe weather was the order of the day.
If the first month or so of 2012 is anything to go by the weather could be problematic again. Currently fairly heavy snow in the UK is causing chaos but as it is still winter such weather is hardly out of the ordinary. Europe has seen much more prolonged snow and freezing cold temperatures resulting in many deaths and widespread disruption.
Across the World though, in the Antipodes, floodwater has been also causing major disruption. Parts of Australia suffered a great deal of flooding in 2011. The people's pioneer spirit rose to the fore and communities rallied to help each other. Flooding though does have an impact on one of Australia's best industries, that is tourism.
February 5, 2012, Australian people living in Queensland are being advised to evacuate the area, as a matter of urgency. Homes are having to be abandoned in order to protect life. Sadly one death has been recorded so far. A woman has been swept away after she managed to rescue her young son. As yet her body has not been recovered.
Queensland was hard hit by flooding in 2012. The area would have still been recovering from that disaster, when flooding struck again. Now the area and its people are facing yet more of the same, only this time the flooding is expected to be record breaking. The water levels should peak in a couple of days which means there is more of the same to come first.
Search and rescue teams are snatching people to safety when and where they can. Industries such as cotton farming have been badly hit already. Evacuations have been taking place on and off this week but now they have become imperative. Whether flood defenses can hold remains to be seen.