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Hundreds to evacuate as floodwaters start inundating homes in Victorian city of Australia

01-18-2011 16:00 BJT

CANBERRA, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- Evacuation alerts were issued on Tuesday for several areas of Horsham, Victoria of Australia, as floodwater begins to deluge the rural city.

Horsham is increasingly resembling a lake that is cutting the town in two, as floodwaters continue to rise during its one-in-200- year event.

Areas close to the center of town are under up to a meter of water, and the State Emergency Service (SES) warned that more than 111 houses in Horsham will have water over the floor boards and more than 500 houses will be affected by flooding.

"The reason we have taken this step of recommending people evacuate is because either houses will end up with water above floor level or because roads will become impassable," SES spokesman Stewart Walls told ABC News on Tuesday.

"We prefer people to be able to get out. We are already seeing quite deep waters at the bottom end of Firebrace Street and in a number of other areas.

"We have power cut off to the bottom end of the Central Business District and we are planning for the water rising enough that it will cut the highway."

Almost 500 household in Horsham are without electricity on Tuesday, after the power network was sectioned off to protect critical infrastructure in the rural city's center. More power cuts are expected in the town as rising floodwaters swamp underground and low-lying powerlines.

Mayor Michael Ryan said emergency services and volunteers had done a "fantastic" job, and the mood in the town was "very calm".

Horsham is one of more than 40 flood-affected communities across Victoria.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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