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Australia

Australia flood death toll rises

AFP/Mark Ralston

Police in Australia’s Queensland state confirmed Tuesday that remains found were human, bringing the total number of people killed by this month’s flash flooding to 22.Nine people are still listed as missing after flash floods swept through the Lockyer Valley on 10 January, sweeping away homes, cars and trees.

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Queensland Police said in a statement that 35 people had died in the state in flood-related incidents since 30 November 2010.

Record rainfall across eastern Australia triggered massive flooding, with waters making their way to Brisbane. Torrential rains also drenched the south-eastern state of Victoria this month.

Floodwaters in Victoria continue to rise, but slower than expected. But they have breeched levees and are threatening small farming communities.

Some 6,000 sheep were killed in the Victoria floods, and some 41,000 hectares of crops were washed away, which could cost the agricultural sector about two billion Australian dollars (1.5 billion euros).

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