Dalai Lama Sends Condolence Over Australian Floods

A passenger in a car waves for assistance as a flash flood sweeps across an intersection in Toowoomba, 105 km (65 miles) west of Brisbane, Australia, 10 Jan 2011

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama Tuesday expressed grief over the death of at least nine people in flash floods that swept through northeastern Queensland in Australia.

In a condolence message to Queensland premier Anna Bligh, the Nobel laureate said: "I was saddened by the unprecedented flood in your state which has brought severe destruction and suffering to the property and general public, but I admire the Australian government’s preparedness in tackling the flood disaster in terms of its relief efforts."

"I am praying for no further loss of lives of those affected by the flood, speedy reconstruction of destroyed homes and an early end to the disaster," the Dalai Lama added.

A total of nine deaths and over 60 persons reported missing have been confirmed in flash floods and the toll could get to more than double, Bligh was quoted as saying by the Herald Sun.

The devastating flood triggered by incessant rainfall around Christmas has inundated thousands of homes, leaving 8 people dead and over 70 missing so far.

The Australian authorities fear for a dramatic rise in death toll as rising waters and continuing heavy rain continues to hamper rescue efforts. The raging flood waters has started moving towards the state capital Brisbane.

The flooding of such destructive magnitude has never occurred in Queensland in the last many decades.

Some information for this report was provided by Tibet Post, Tibet.net and IANS