Students in Australia told to stay calm

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Around 500 Norwegian students are among the thousands hit by fatal flooding in Queensland, northeast Australia, and Norway’s embassy in Sydney said Wednesday it was monitoring the situation and standing by to offer help.

For now, the embassy could only advise the students and other Norwegians in the hard-hit areas to stay calm and follow instructions issued by local authorities in Brisbane and other communities where flooding was severe.

Australia has emerged as a highly popular destination for college students in Norway and there are also many other Norwegians living and working in the country. Among them is Iselin Grande Marthinsen from Elverum in Hedmark County, who had planned to spend the winter working in Queensland. Now she’s not so sure.

“It’s one big catastrophe area here,” she told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on Wednesday. “It started on Christmas Eve when it rained constantly for several days. Suddenly we were told to evacuate the hostel where we were living because water was on the way in.”

Around 20,000 homes are threatened and the death toll was expected to rise.

Views and News staff