Via NASA's Aqua satellite:
The Fitzroy River basin in Queensland, Australia (December 14, 2010)
The Fitzroy River basin (January 4, 2011)
Australia's Queensland province has been inundated with disastrous flooding since the beginning of 2011. Damaging floods hit the city of Rockhampton, the pale tan area that spans the Fitzroy. The river's straight, well-defined channel through the city indicates some measure of flood control. North of the city, however, the river burst its bank and surrounded Rockhampton on the northwest. Similar flooding appears to be happening south of the city, but clouds (turquoise and white) obscure the view. The floodwaters have risen drastically since NASA's Aqua satellite captured these photographs. with thousands fleeing Australia's third-largest city of Brisbane. Journalists speculate that the flooding could have myriad detrimental effects on Australia's geography, ecology, and economy.
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Jared Keller is a journalist based in New York. He has written for Bloomberg Businessweek, Pacific Standard, and Al Jazeera America, and is a former associate editor for The Atlantic.