Wildfires hit western Australia after north-east floods


Wildfires have destroyed a number of homes in western Australia, as the north-east of the country continues to be affected by flooding brought about by Cyclone Yasi last week.

Flooding also affected the southern state of Victoria after Yasi caused a series of thunderstorms over Melbourne and other large towns in the state.

The resulting two days of heavy rain caused further flooding.

Yasi, a category-five storm (the worst), hit several Queensland towns.

It compounded the state's misery, coming on the heels of devastating floods that have claimed 35 lives and destroyed hundreds of homes since December.

In the western Australian city of Perth, wildfires tore through suburbs, destroying at least a dozen homes. There have been no reports of casualties.

In Victoria, the Melbourne suburb of Elwood was one of the hardest hit, with floodwaters cutting off many houses and washing cars off roads, the Associated Press news agency reports.

Melbourne received half its average annual rainfall in just a day, AP says.

In Queensland, some 7,000 people remain in evacuation centres and thousands more are living in their battered homes without power or water supplies.

Communication links have yet to be restored to many areas.

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