We are now sitting at the airport, 6 hours early for our flight to Auckland, New Zealand. We wanted to ensure we made it as many roads are damaged. The taxi driver was amazing, weaving through the streets to get to the airport. Everyone is the region is impacted by the flood in some way, and no doubt he or someone he cares about are impacted significantly. In all of this, he still went to work ensuring people are able to get around.
Thankfully the Brisbane river peaked this morning about a meter lower than initially expected. However it still caused extensive flooding and damage in the CBD (central business district) area a few blocks from where we were staying. In the west end, the lovely museums we visited only days before are surrounded by water. The floating walk way along the river had to be destroyed to ensure it did not join the debris in the river and damage things down stream. An entire restaurant was ripped from the embankment and was destroyed.
The murky waters hide other dangers as well from raw sewage, debris, and potentially snakes. Other areas outside of Brisbane are equally or more significantly affected and some are still facing increasing water levels. In this environment, brave search and rescue teams have the horrific task of searching for bodies in submerged cars, houses and waterways. Last I heard, the death toll is currently at 13 with many more missing.
I am so saddened for all the losses of human and animal life, property, infrastructure, land and so on. The photos, video and stories are heart breaking. The clean up and rebuilding will take a long time and my thoughts continue to be with the people of Australia.
I am also so profoundly amazed at the stories of survival and bravery and the amazing way in which people are pulling together to assist each other. Everyone can learn from their example and show greater kindness to their friends, family, neighbors and strangers in good times and bad.
"Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can." — Dalai Lama XIV
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