Saturday, December 12, 2009

Iceberg Strikes Australia, Continent Sinks, Great Loss of Life Feared

A massive iceberg rammed the continent of Australia earlier today causing the great island nation to sink into the briny depths of the Pacific Ocean. Due to the massive scale of the disaster, stunned authorities are unsure of the number of survivors, but fear that the greater portion of the population of 22 million may have perished.

Scientists who had been tracking the wayward ice floe for several months continued to assure anxious Aussies that they had nothing to fear as the iceberg was on track to contact the Australian coast with no more than a glancing blow south of Sydney, near the capital of Canberra. The Australian government sought to reassure both nationals and foreigners that the iceberg would have no more impact on the continent than "an errant shrimp falling off the barbie on any given day."

"I find it incomprehensible that anyone could believe in this day and age that a melting block of ice could affect a titanic land mass like Australia," said lead scientist and glacioligist of reknown, Neal Young.

Dr. Young stood awestruck upon the deck of a ship monitoring the iceberg when it came ashore some 75 km. south of Sydney Harbor. A shower of ice fell onto the beach, much to the delight of the assembled onlookers, as they rushed to scoop up frozen souvenirs.

A short time later, a report from downtown Canberra, seat of the Australian government, indicated that hundreds of fissures in the earth had suddenly appeared across the countryside and that seawater was spewing forth from them in frightening quantities. Dr. Young huddled with his fellow scientists and quickly determined that this new development was strictly coincidental and posed no threat to life or property whatsoever.

Over the next few hours, however, similar reports from various corners of the nation continued to arrive in alarming quantity and increasing frequency. Low-lying areas in the southern half of the country had been evacuated and were now completely underwater. Shipboard colleagues of Dr. Young noted that the throng of people that had been on the beach when the iceberg struck, had disappeared, along with many kilometers of the beach itself.

Governmental disaster agencies called for calm, urging everyone to head overland in a northerly direction or to secure passage on a seaworthy vessel of any kind and make for Tasmania or New Zealand. Pleas for assistance of any nature were flashed round the world and ships of every register sailing in the South Pacific were implored to come to the aid of the clearly sinking continent.

Communications from the coastal cities of Sydney in the east to Perth in the west were lost and television stations broadcast this image from downtown Canberra just before they, too, fell silent.
Reports of wholesale looting and panic in the streets poured in from those areas not yet underwater, as the masses tried to get their families into any craft that floated. Boat dealers, marinas and pool supply stores were inundated with terrified residents looking to save themselves. Police departments were overwhelmed and lawlessness prevailed in this nation that, ironically, was once a penal colony.

Some older residents preferred to wait quietly for the end to come, simply sitting on their porches with friends and family, drinking beer and reflecting wistfully on what bearing these dreadful circumstances might have on the upcoming Australian Football League playoffs.

Then, shortly before midnight, the northern coast of Australia raised up into the night sky and then silently slipped under the waves of the unforgiving sea. Shipboard observers there watched in horror as the Darwin Symphony Orchestra played "Nearer, My God, To Thee" on the beach as the lights of the city flickered then disappeared beneath the surface of the water, teetering for a moment as it scraped against the Great Barrier Reef before plunging into the cold, black depths of the Pacific.

An eerie calm befell the area, as the waves lapped against the sides of the assembled flotilla and the slight whimpering of children aboard rescue vessels was the only sound to be heard in the starlit night.

Dawn revealed only a gargantuan debris field and but a few survivors clinging to empty kegs of Foster's Lager beer. Here and there, a koala floated by on a sprig of eucalyptus tree.

Noted environmentalist and former American vice-president, Al Gore, predicted ecological chaos from the continental-sized mass of floating garbage. "While I appreciate the trememdous toll in the loss of millions of human lives with the sinking of Australia after being hit by an iceberg that had broken off from a melting Antartica, let me just say that, I told you so."

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