Entries in Queensland (7)


Thieves Steal Penguin, Swim With Dolphins at Seaworld

ABC News (QUEENSLAND, Australia) -- The weekend may have been hazy for two Brits and an Aussie, but the trio woke up to a displaced penguin, a bad hangover and serious legal troubles.

The three drunk friends allegedly made a Queensland, Australia SeaWorld their personal playground, swimming with the dolphins, capturing their adventure on cell phone video and bragging about their exploits on Facebook.

On the way out, the trio decided to take a souvenir from their night at the water park. They scooped up a 7-year-old penguin named Dirk, who had never spent a night outside of captivity, officials for the water park said.

After waking up with a penguin guest, police said one of the men panicked and let Dirk go in a waterway known to have sharks. Witnesses who found Dirk said something chased him out of the water. On land, the frightened penguin was chased by a dog before witnesses came to his rescue.

“He was extremely disheveled, he was quite exhausted last night after we did catch him but … he’s settled down well,” Trevor Long, Sea World’s director of marine sciences, told reporters.

As for the three mates, ages 18, 20 and 21 who broke into the water park?

The men have a court date next month where they’ll have to answer to charges of trespassing, theft and unlawfully keeping a protected animal.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Cyclone Yasi Claims One Life in Australia; Thousands Without Power

Photo Courtesy - Jonathan Wood/Getty Images(CAIRNS, Australia) -- The first fatality stemming from Cyclone Yasi, the category five storm that hit northeastern Australia early this week, was confirmed by officials Friday.

The victim, a 23-year-old man, was killed by fumes from a diesel-powered generator he was using in a closed room while he sought shelter, according to authorities.  They also said a search is underway for two missing people.

Cyclone Yasi made landfall in Queensland on Wednesday bringing strong winds and sheets of rain that ripped the roofs off of buildings and cut power to thousands of residents.  As of Friday, 150,000 homes were still without power, according to the BBC.

Australia has deployed 4,000 soldiers, along with 600 police and emergency workers, to the cyclone-stricken area, according to the BBC.  Food supplies are also being shipped in to help those hit by the storm.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Flood-Ravaged Australia Braces For Storms

Photo Courtesy - TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images(QUEENSLAND, Australia) -- Summer in Australia has been anything but relaxing, with record flooding to blame for 35 deaths, and nearly 30,000 homes and businesses destroyed by the brutal weather. On Sunday, separate regions of the country were bracing for cyclones that could bring as much as 11 inches of rain.

In the northwest Queensland region, which was recently devastated by floods for over a month and suffered billions of dollars in damage, Cyclone Anthony is expected to bring 80 mph winds. On Sunday, it was upgraded to a Category 2 storm, and weather reports from the Bureau of Meteorology predicted it would bring destructive winds and more flooding when it made landfall on Monday.

The country's southwest region had nearly 9,000 homes without power on Sunday because of severe storms. Additionally, storm warnings were in effect all day Sunday as ex-tropical cyclone Bianca neared the coast. A cyclone warning was canceled on Sunday by the Bureau of Meteorology, but strong winds and rising tides still may be an issue for residents.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Lance Armstrong, Cyclists Raise Money for Australian Flood Victims

Photo Courtesy - Morne de Klerk/Getty Images(BRISBANE, Australia) -- Lance Armstrong, along with thousands of cyclists, mounted their bikes in Queensland Monday to raise money for Australian flood victims.

The fundraiser, called Queensland Ride for Relief, was a 25-kilometer ride through Brisbane that raised at least $125,000, according to The Courier-Mail.  The money raised will go to help Australians affected by flooding that began last month in Queensland.  The flooding claimed more than 20 lives and stranded over 200,000.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh was among the 2,500 cyclists who participated in the event.

"It's amazing how many people are here to help those affected by the floods," Bligh said.

"For those people who had the stuffing knocked out of them with these floods, Lance Armstrong is an inspiration," she added.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Australia: Cleanup Underway After Devastating Floods

Photo Courtesy - TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images(QUEENSLAND, Australia) -- The cleanup from massive flooding in some areas of Australia's storm-battered northeast is beginning even as some communities remain isolated by high water.

At least 27 people have died during three weeks of flooding. Fourteen remain unaccounted for.

Dealing with all the mud left behind is expected to take months. Reconstruction could take years.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


More Rain Headed to Flooded Australia as River Begins to Recede

Photo Courtesy - Torsten Blackwood /AFP/Getty Images(QUEENSLAND, Australia) -- The worst of the water woes appears to be over for Rockhampton, the biggest city caught up in the Queensland flood that stranded over 200,000 Australians.

Rain has returned to northeastern Australia, but Rockhampton Mayor Brad Carter isn't too worried on its effect.

"The rain that we're expecting over the next couple of days is not likely to have any effect on the flood levels that we're seeing that are coming from the river system," Carter said.

The Fitzroy River, which runs through Rockhampton, has peaked and it's now slowing starting to recede.

"It certainly takes, you know, a lot of the pressure off," Carter said in response.

The damage below the waterline won't be determined for some time.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard says, "We're not going to know the true dimensions of the damage until floodwaters recede and can see what's happening with roads, what's happened with bridges, what's happened with vital infrastructure like schools.  But I can say that we will be working every step of the way with the Queensland government."

Clean-up efforts in the region are expected to take several months and the cost of damages are estimated to run in the billions.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Floods Leave 200,000 Australians Stranded

Photo Courtesy - Torsten Blackwood /AFP/Getty Images(BRISBANE, Australia) -- More than 200,000 Australians have been affected by relentless flooding stemming from rain that fell for days last week in Queensland.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said 22 towns "are either substantially flooded or isolated because the roads have been cut off to them."  Bligh added that the flooding spans "an area that's bigger than the size of France and Germany combined."

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard toured the affected areas Friday and said, "Federal government and state government are working closely together through national disaster relief and recovery arrangements and will continue to do so."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio