A woman was found dead on Wednesday after a car carrying three people was swept away by floodwaters, as torrential rain continued to lash the Australian state of Queensland. The search and rescue operation was launched at 8 a.m. on Wednesday. The 31-year-old woman was found dead inside her vehicle, and the other two passengers were transported to a hospital where they are now in a stable condition, reports Xinhua news agency.
The Queensland police have warned the public to avoid unnecessary travel and not to risk travelling on flooded roads as long as the severe weather persists. The Queensland Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said on Wednesday many areas of the state had received over 100 mm of rainfall in the preceding 24 hours. The heaviest downpour was recorded at Mourilyan Mill on the Cassowary Coast, a region in far north Queensland, which experienced 244 mm of rain. The weather has caused heavy traffic congestion across western and northern Queensland, as around 200 roads were flooded, according to data from insurance and motoring services provider, the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland.
Heavy rain has also hit the state's capital, Brisbane, and the nearby Sunshine Coast overnight. The latest forecast from BoM suggested Brisbane could receive 50 to 80 mm of rainfall on Wednesday and decrease below 50 mm by Thursday. In response to intense rainfall and flash flooding, the State Emergency Service (SES) received more than 90 requests for assistance in the north and far north Queensland. Local volunteers have been out in force across the state this week in preparation for more widespread heavy rainfall.