Floods hit Indian business in Australia

Thousands of homes and businesses, including those of Indians, in several parts of the Australian`s Queensland state today stand devastated after the worst flooding in a century left them inundated.

Updated: Jan 14, 2011, 15:50 PM IST

Melbourne: Thousands of homes and
businesses, including those of Indians, in several parts of
the Australian`s Queensland state today stand devastated after
the worst flooding in a century left them inundated, leaving
behind a disaster zone that could take months to rebuild.

The state has been home for thousands of Indian nationals
living here for years and hundreds of students who have
migrated to study.

It is believed that the recent floodings would have
affected homes as well as businesses of many Indians living
here but with no deaths reported.

PTI tried to contact couple of Indian business, including
some restaurants, in the worst hit parts of Toowoomba and
Brisbane, but there was mostly no response, presumably due to
disconnected utilities including phone lines and power.

However, an owner of Brisbane-based Indian restaurant
Taj Mahal, Rattan Mania said he was lucky to escape the flood
wrath.

"My house is on the hill so I am not affected and we
have no inundation into my property. I m lucky," she told PTI
over the phone.

But Mania had to shut down their restaurant in New Farm
suburb of the city three days ago after flood alerts were
heightened by the state government and they were cut off with
power supply.

"We had to shut down the restaurant as we were cut
off with power. We do have some Indian nationals working for
us in the restaurant as well. Fortunately they are all safe,"
Mania, who has been living here for the last nine years, said.

Another Brisbane resident Manjit Boparai, editor of a
Brisbane based ethnic newspaper `The Punjab`, detailed the
extent of damage and said over 40 parts of Brisbane were now
under water affecting thousands of homes but things were
improving fast after water started to recede.

He said the areas affected was not so heavily
dominated by Indian population.

"Not many Indians are living in these parts where
flooding has hit hard,` Boparai said.
Floods have hit some Indian restaurants cross the
Brisbane city. Few restaurants - Punjabi Palace, Bombay Dhaba,
and a Petrol Station in Oxley owned by an Indian are under
water, he said.

Boparia said Indoz Sikh Community Centre was also
organising Langar for the affected people in the suburb of
Inala.
"We are participating in rebuilding measures here
even though we have not been affected," he said adding the
community yesterday collected USD 30,000 for the floods relief
donation.

According to Indian High Commission, there were no
reports of any casualty but the officials were in constant
touch with the Australian authorities making sure the welfare
of their nationals living in the affected areas.

PTI