Five swept away in Australian floods

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SYDNEY: Five people have been swept to their deaths by flash flooding in northeastern Australia, officials said Saturday, after what the Queensland state premier described as an “off-the-scale” deluge. State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk had warned that the weather bureau had forecast extremely heavy weather for southeast Queensland on Friday afternoon. But in announcing the first three deaths late Friday, Palaszczuk said that a deluge of 277 millimeters (almost 11 inches) of rain fell in the area where the deaths occurred in just three hours. “This is off the scale,” she said.

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