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Torrential rains triggered the worst flooding in 50 years, affecting more than 200,000 people in Australia. More floods are forecasted for the region and health authorities fear mosquito-borne diseases could spread.
“Military aircraft dropped supplies to towns cut off by floods in northeastern Australia as the prime minister promised new assistance Friday to the 200,000 people affected by waters covering an area larger than France and Germany combined,” The Associated Press reported.
The disaster is raising great concern about the possible long-term effects to the economy.
“Farming and mining—the two most significant contributors to the nation’s economy—will both suffer cuts in production due to the floods with rural commodities like wheat, sugar, horticulture and coal already increasing in price,” the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported. “Some financial forecasters are suggesting the damage to the nation's bottom line could be as high as $6 billion.”