Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy and togetherness, but this year’s festive season brought tragedy and grief to parts of Australia ravaged by severe storms.
The death toll rose to 7 by December 27, with two still missing in Queensland. Torrential rain and ferocious winds have wreaked havoc, flooding homes and sweeping people away.
The storms first claimed a life in Queensland on December 26 when a tree fell on a 59-year-old woman.
By the next day, the state saw another 3 fatalities - a distressing one being a 9-year-old girl in Brisbane, whose body was found in stormwater drains after an extensive search. Her grieving family from Rochedale South urged privacy to mourn their devastating loss.
Elsewhere in Queensland, two people died, and two remained missing after a boat capsizing incident in Moreton Bay that sent 8 to the hospital. The search had found one deceased by midnight when it was reluctantly suspended.
But it resumed the next morning and uncovered another body amid the wreckage.
In the town of Gympie, a woman's corpse was pulled from the raging Mary River floods. She was with two other women in their 40s on the Kidd Bridge when the turbulent waters swept them away.
One woman barely survived, but the other is still missing as emergency crews scour the river. These back-to-back tragedies have shaken the tight-knit local communities during what should have been a celebratory holiday season.