Australian PM praises community response to deadly Tropical Cyclone Debbie

Source: Xinhua| 2017-04-04 08:38:22|Editor: Xiang Bo
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CANBERRA, April 4 (Xinhua) -- Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has praised the resilience of Australians affected by Tropical Cyclone Debbie, as the fallout to and clean-up of the storm continues on the nation's east coast.

Five people have been confirmed dead and hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of damage has been caused by the cyclone, which ripped through the state of Queensland and down the New South Wales north coast last week.

Speaking at a press conference in Canberra on Tuesday, Turnbull said while Debbie had ravaged communities with its destructive winds and the ensuing floods, Australians had come together as a community to help one another clean up.

"The thoughts and prayers of all Aussies are with the families of those whose lives have been lost in the floods following Tropical Cyclone Debbie," Turnbull said on Tuesday.

"This has been a natural disaster which has spread the length and breadth of the east coast of Australia.

"Nature has flung her worst at Australians, which bought out the best. The solidarity, the cooperation, I've seen it myself yesterday and last week.

"Australians have pulled together. The Australian Defence Force, the emergency services, the police and communities (have all) worked together to clean up, repair the damage and get back on their feet."

The prime minister said while the clean-up was continuing in many parts of Queensland and New South Wales, some cities, such as Rockhampton, were yet to see the peak flood levels, posing a danger to those in the area.

"But, of course, it's a tough time for those communities and in some areas, the peak of the flood is yet to come," Turnbull said.

"In Rockhampton in particular, there are considerable resources going into ensuring that the potential consequences of that flood are mitigated."

Turnbull's press conferences come after he toured the affected areas over the weekend. In some parts of the nation, Cyclone Debbie brought almost an entire year's worth of rain in just 48 hours.