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Tue Jan 29, 2013, 09:58 AM

Hospital evacuated as Australia hit by heavy flooding

(CNN) -- Heavy flooding in Australia caused by torrential rains has forced mass evacuations from towns along the country's east coast, with critically-ill patients and newborns from one hospital being airlifted to safety.

The floods, which came in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Oswald, have killed four people so far, including a three-year-old boy who died after being hit by a falling tree in Brisbane, Australia's third largest city.

Bundaberg, a coastal town about 360 kilometers (220 miles) northwest of Brisbane, was particularly hard hit, with more than 2,000 homes inundated with water and a similar number of people evacuated, said mayor Mal Forman.

"We're like a little island. We have water either side of us and the water is flowing rapidly," Forman told CNN by telephone from his office in Bundaberg's town center.

"People are very bewildered." ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/29/world/asia/australia-queensland-flooding/?hpt=wo_c2

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