Malaysians in Queensland reported safe

January 13, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 — Malaysians living and studying in Brisbane, Australia are reported safe although the city has been cut off and is facing food shortages as a result of the floods which have hit the northeastern region of the continent.

Queensland Malaysian Muslim Students Association deputy president Mohd Ridzwan Yaakub said more than 40 families of Malaysian students had been moved to higher ground by the local authorities or were putting up at homes of friends which were not affected by the floods.

He said Malaysians there had taken precautionary measures following an advisory by the Malaysian High Commission in Canberra of the impending floods.

“So far, there have been no reports of casualties involving Malaysian students... they were ordered to relocate as early as Tuesday.

“The floods here are really bad... I was told this is the worst flood disaster to hit Queensland since 1974,” he said when contacted by Bernama.

He said Brisbane, Toowoomba, St Lucia, Indooroopilly and Toowong were the worst hit and that 13 Malaysian students were stranded and only had enough food for two more days in Toowoomba, which is located some 100km from Brisbane.

“The association is working with the Malaysian High Commission to find a way to bring food supplies to them although access by land routes to the town has been cut off because of floods,” said Mohd Ridzwan, a first-year student at a Brisbane university.

He said several homes of Malaysian lecturers pursuing doctorate studies in Brisbane had become inundated particularly in the parts of West End, Yeronga and Fairfield.

“Fortunately, they moved to higher ground after being told to do so before the floods hit,” he said, adding that the association was updating the Malaysian Students Department and the Public Service Department on the status of Malaysian students in the wake of the disaster.

“We are doing everything possible with the limited funds were have to ensure the students have the basic necessities. With the full co-operation of the students, we have been able to reduce the risks of they getting trapped in floods.

“So far, all Malaysian students in Brisbane are safe. We hope all Malaysians will pray for our safety here,” he said.

According to him, among the universities located there (Brisbane) were the University of Southern Queensland and Queensland University of Technology Brisbane.  

Reports by foreign news agencies have put the death toll in Brisbane as a result of the floods at 12 people with scores reported missing and damage to property in the millions.

The Brisbane River is reported to have overflowed its banks, and the water has reached as high as traffic light poles and that some 20,000 houses have been submerged. — Bernama