Sydney, Jan 18. -The losses caused by the floods in Australia are the worst national disaster ever, according to local press and official reports.
"In economic terms, this is the worst disaster ever in the country," said a local television report, adding that reconstruction would take years.
According to preliminary assessments, damage in the states of Queensland and Victoria is estimated at more than 10 billion dollars, the newspaper The Australian reportd.
The floods spread to the southern state of Victoria, where more than 14,000 homes were covered by water, and nearly 5,000 people had been evacuated, local authorities said.
At least 45 towns and vast areas of farmland were hit by the floods, isolating some 10,000 people, according to reports.
Nearly 40 people were missing in those two states. The death rate totalled 32, and was likely to increase because search and rescue operations had come up against several obstacles.
The UN and other international institutions planned to provide financial and material aid to cope with the disaster, which had even damaged the already fragile ecosystem along the Great Barrier Reef, the largest reef system in the world. (Prensa Latina)