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A look at weather extremes and the big-picture climate connections.

Floods Continue in Australia and Pick Up in Brazil, Sri Lanka

By Alyson Kenward

Earlier this week we reported on the heavy rains and flooding in Queensland, Australia. Since then, the death toll has increased to 16 people, and at least 50 people remain missing. And while the heavy rains in much of the province have stopped — for the time being, at least — and the level of the Brisbane River is now on its way down after peaking about 15 feet above normal, flood risk has shifted to the Victoria region of southern Australia. Already, hundreds of people there have been evacuated as several cities and towns anticipate flooding following a few days of intense rain. 

But this week's news of heavy rains and flooding is no longer limited to Australia. Flash floods and landslides tore through an area north of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil on Wednesday, triggered by intense rain that started on Tuesday. Already, more than 500 deaths have been reported due to the floods, but with continued rain hampering rescue efforts, that number is expected to rise over the coming days. And in Sri Lanka, ongoing rains and flooding have caused 27 deaths, displaced more than a quarter million people from their homes, and swamped much of the rice-growing region of the country.

Click to view a slideshow of the floods. 

Last night, ABC News' Nightline reported on the series of floods that simultaneously struck around the world this week, and what their connection to both La Niña and long-term climate change might be.

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