Archive for the ‘disaster’ Category

A year on since the 2011 Brisbane floods

Police tape goes up as the streets start to flood. Pic: Joanne Lane,

This week it’s a year since the base for Visited Planet went underwater in the 2011 floods. While we’re sitting high and dry here now, repairs to the house as yet are still unfinished, although nearing completion.

It’s incredible to reflect back on what we were doing a year ago – madly evacuating computers, photographic and personal items out of the house as the waters rose around us and up into the property. It was a dreadful time; exhausting and debilitating in many ways but also an incredible time of community and friendship as people came to help and assist – many whom we didn’t even know. Read more

Photo gallery: Mt Merapi the mountain of fire

Mt Merapi is one of the 76 active volcanoes in Indonesia. In fact it’s the most volatile of all with smoke billowing from the summit 300 days a year and frequent eruptions that often claim lives.

In October 2010 the volcanic activity on the mountain escalated as lava, smoke and ash erupted into the surrounding region killing 353 people and displacing 320,000.

Project work I visited in this region in May 2011 has been multi-fold:
* assisting in the rebuild of homes destroyed by lava flow, fire, ash and flood waters
* restoring cattle herds and farming land to residents reliant on these industries for food/business
* re-establishing drinking water sources
* replacing destroyed/lost school uniforms and books

The smoking culprit - Mt Merapi.

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Photo of the day: A mud spattered volunteer after the Brisbane floods

A friend came around the other day and said I should have entered some of my flood images to newspaper’s, magazines or other sources. Flattering comments of course but I must admit all images I took were taken in a rush and with mud-covered hands so I wouldn’t necessarily agree.

Anyway they insisted this image kind of summed up the whole working-bee effort of Brisbane on the days immediately after the flood, the weekend of January 15-16 when thousands of volunteers took to the streets to help flood-affected households.

Let me know what you think. I don’t like the pole sticking out of the man’s head and it probably would have been better cropped as a landscape image to show the mayhem around as well with trucks collecting rubbish, volunteers like worker ants buzzing all over neighbouring properties and so on.

The image is of my father.

Man amidst the mud during the cleanup after the Brisbane floods.

Feel free to email Jo at with your comments/thoughts/photo aspirations.  See and learn more at

The Brisbane floods – a photographic glimpse in 40 shots

After years of covering other disasters it was finally my turn to be one of the victims. I was one of the casualties of the floods that struck Brisbane city the week of January 10-14. My house was evacuated, the bottom storey was destroyed and we’ve had a mammoth effort to clean and start rebuilding the property.

I was so busy it was difficult to document much of what was going on. However I’ve managed to pull out 40 photographs that detail the water buildup, the evacuation, full scale flood in my area, cleanup and volunteer effort. I did not have time to travel around the city or go anywhere beyond my few blocks as we were in full on crisis. And so this gallery is really a look at what was happening around a few streets in Auchenflower over the flood week and the days since.

Please refer to my blogs on Asian Correspondent for more details on the events.

The street first begins to flood, January 11, 2011.

An early casualty. Lunch time, January 11, 2011.

Even ducks won’t go in the water. January 11, 2011.

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Post floods – Visited Planet back in business

My apologies to any of those that tune into this blog recently. I have had an unexpected hiatus as my house in Brisbane was one of those recently affected in the Queensland floods.

Prompt evacuation of computers, hard drives, cameras, my slide library (now shoot digital of course) and personal effects meant no Visited Planet assets were harmed by flood water. However it’s been a mammoth effort to clean the house and re-establish our lives.

I took a lot of images during the floods and subsequent cleanup and will post these on the blog in coming days.

Feel free to email Jo at with your comments/thoughts/photo aspirations.  See and learn more at

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Visited Planet's documentary and lifestyle photographic projects are designed to aid, equip, empower and educate people around the world.

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