Yes, it seems there are a lot of people experiencing the wrath of Mother Nature right now in Australia; be it floods or fires. My heart and thoughts are with them too
To be completely honest, I think that the natural disasters down here are probably much less destructive than those in most of the nations on this planet. Yes, we do get bush fires (aka forest fires) & floods, but when compared to the rest of the world, the lost lives & damage to property is nowhere near that of natural disasters experienced elsewhere. Australia has probably lost less than 500 lives in the past 20 or 30 years to all natural disasters on this big continent. I know that sounds a lot, and one life lost to disaster is one life too many, but when you look at the number of deaths in the USA over the same period due to hurricanes (especially Katrina, Andrew & Sandy), earthquakes on the west coast, forest fires & severe cold spells including ice storms, Australia looks a pretty good place to be. Indonesia has huge floods, earthquakes & regular volcanic eruptions. China also gets big earthquakes, landslides & floods. Iran, Turkey & others in that area experience earthquakes killing tens of thousands at a time. Europe cops its fair share too - whether it be earthquakes & volcanoes in Italy or snow & flood in the UK. Africa suffers from severe droughts resulting in famine (plus all of the wars that have been fought there since the colonial powers left). South & Central America experience huge earthquakes. And, of course, our neighbours across the ditch, New Zealand, recently had an entire city flattened by an earthquake.
I'm a glass-half-full sort of bloke, and when I see these overseas disasters on the news almost every evening, I feel very fortunate that I live in a country where the natural disasters can often (though not always) be predicted & people can usually be evacuated beforehand. And our disasters are usually over fairly quickly - rebuilding & repairs can often be going on within a week of the disaster having hit.
Regarding the current floods, I have lived in Sydney for 47 years, and floods in Queensland & northern New South Wales are definitely not something new. What is new is the amount of saturation media coverage every severe weather event receives, and the panic that is induced by the 24/7 media. I think we have had 3 cases of "Armageddon" weather predicted by the media this month alone. Every time the temperature is going to be more than 33 degrees Celsius (91F) (it is Summer here) we are told that "catastrophic" weather conditions are approaching. Whenever there is a regular tropical storm up north all of our TV channels switch to 24-hour live coverage. You can actually see the immense disappointment on the reporters' & hosts' faces when nothing much is damaged or no-one dies. I would hate to be a kid growing up here nowadays - they must live in a state of constant anxiety due to the media's constant predictions of major catastrophe about to befall us.
Also, in the past 30 years many homes have been built on flood plains, which makes the impact worse. Floods have been such a regular occurrence in Queensland for the past couple of centuries that a form of architecture designed to deal with the floods was given the title of Queenslander (architecture)
. The living areas of the houses were upstairs where rising waters would not reach. If people living in flood prone areas have their living areas on the ground floor, then they really cannot complain when their lower floor gets flooded. There may some living in areas which normally would not have flooded except for changes in the shape or drainage of the land due to development, and I do feel sorry for people caught in that situation.
We do also have an excellent welfare system which usually has special cash payments in the bank accounts of impacted residents within a day or 2 of the disaster happening. Of course my heart still does go out to those who have been impacted, whether it be by the loss of a loved one, or the loss of a home, or the loss of sentimental possessions.
So, Australia is a land of droughts & flooding rains, but compared to much of the rest of the world we actually have it pretty good. I wouldn't live anywhere else for quids.