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Australia Floods Covering Area Size Of France And Germany

A man and his son kayak past flooded cars in Bundaberg, Australia, on December 31.
Officials in Australia say floodwaters in the country's northeast are now covering an area bigger than France and Germany combined.

Officials say the worst flooding in Australia in 50 years has inundated or isolated 22 towns and affected more than 200,000 people.

The flooding has led to the closure of a major sugar export port, and shut coal mines in Queensland state.

The flooding has been triggered by a La Nina weather pattern, which has led to rains for the past two weeks across northeastern Australia.

compiled from agency reports