The city of Toowoomba in Queensland, Australia is set in The Great Dividing Ranges, 150ks to the west of Brisbane. Toowoomba is a tranquil mountain city too far inland to come to much harm from Cyclones and with its 700m of elevation, well above any flood problems.
Toowoomba is also part of the headwaters of the great Murray-Darling river system that travels 1000s of kilometers south through inland Australia to finally enter the vast Southern Ocean near the state borders of Victoria and South Australia.
Two colorful creek systems with the original names of East Creek and West Creek meander through either side of the Central business district. They are normally sufficient to carry runoff from even heavy rain out away from the city and on into a larger creek and river system for the long journey south.
And so it was on that fateful day of January 10, 2011 when for over an hour torrential rain fell on our city. From the elevated area where we live, we were only concerned with the 30cm plus torrent of water rushing along our access road and creeping up our driveway to surround our Unit. However all the surrounding roads also had wall to wall flood water which inevitably joined into meter high torrents rushing down to West Creek.
West Creek quickly became a raging inferno of tumbling water carrying all before it – vehicles, trees, nearby businesses together with their internal stock and fittings and inevitably people (some still in their vehicles). Videos of all this quickly went around the world. Meanwhile East Creek was also creating havoc and destruction en route to joining West Creek on the northern edge of the CBD.
The devastation caused by these two waterways was unbelievable. Eyewitnesses watched in horror as tumbling vehicles smashed into trees, shop fronts, each other and at times, people. Heads could be seen bobbing up and down in the turbulence. One man clinging to a tree was dislodged by a crashing car but fortunately was rescued further down. Business friends of ours were lucky to survive when the entrance doors they were holding to keep out the rising water were demolished by furniture hurtling across the road from wrecked showrooms. Individual stories of survival told of no prior indication of what was coming and the sheer terror of being suddenly flung into a sea of turbulent water.
That combined wall of water is now many 100s of kilometers to the south but the aftermath of its destruction will live with the people affected for the rest of their lives. Meanwhile 2 kilometers to the east on the downward slope of the range where the Warrego Highway heads for Brisbane, an even larger catastrophic drama was unfolding. Travelers on the access roads up and down the range described the scenery along the steep range slopes as one vast continuous waterfall. All this enormous deluge of water converged into the many little creeks and streams that go on to for the Lockyer Creek which services the rich Lockyer Valley vegetable bowl.
But on this disastrous afternoon, the small creeks and streams became raging torrents carrying all before them as they roared through the bushland villages. Huge trees, roads, bridges, vehicles and houses some with the occupants still inside, were demolished. Seen later there was no sign of any quiet streams with colorful cottages on their banks. Instead, there were 50 meter wide gouges through the smashed trees with hardly identifiable debris strewn along their banks.
As this water filled inferno crashed onwards, word went out ahead that a 6 meter wall of water was heading for the unique villages of Murphy’s Creek, Postman’s Ridge, Helidon and Grantham. So fast does something of this nature (likened to an inland tsunami) travel that before many of those that heard the warning could react, it was too late to do anything but scramble onto their rooftops and hope their house would not be washed away beneath them.
This tragedy reached its zenith in the little town of Grantham. With the nearest high ground too far away to get to in time, escape options were few. Rescue helicopters and their rescue teams took great risks plucking people from their rooftops before they could be swept away. All this water continued on to eventually join river systems at Ipswich and Brisbane where even more disasters were unfolding.
Picturesque Grantham village was virtually destroyed. Whole families disappeared and at the time of writing 7people have not been found. The damage to homes, crops, possessions, roads, etc throughout the Lockyer Valley is too great to even estimate. Two of my grandchildren live in Brisbane in one of the areas near the river. They were evacuated to higher ground and were safe.
We were very grateful for the Global Ananda Siddhi Transmission which Sri Pranaji arranged, to send healing and hope to so many and we are sure this helped their situation. Our grandson in Townsville was in grave peril from the most dangerous cyclone in Australia’s history. Not only did he emerge safe and well, but his unit also missed damage from nearby falling trees. As we watched the dreadful events on Television, we became very distraught wondering where our friends were.. Ananda Siddhi meditations had a very calming effect on us all. Here we also prayed for healing of the earth as well in that transmission.
Sri Jothikadal Ma (Isabelle Jenner)
Acharay, Pranashakty International