Australian flooding death toll rises

Jan. 23, 2011 at 10:54 AM

BRISBANE, Australia, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Australian authorities were attempting Sunday to identify bodies found in flooded areas in the state of Queensland, the national broadcasting agency reported.

Relentless rain and subsequent flooding has plagued Australia for weeks, moving south from the northeastern state of Queensland to the southern state of Victoria.

In all, at least 30 deaths have been attributed to the flooding and nine people were still missing, the broadcaster said.

Rescue workers were alerted by neighbors in the Brisbane suburb of Murphy's Creek, where bodies were found in houses, the report said.

Authorities didn't release any details about the bodies found.

"There is no doubt the recent floods will rank as one of [the] most costly natural disasters in our history," Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan said.

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