On December 1st 2010, the city of Toowoomba, Australia celebrated the "wedding" of Joseph Guiso, a 20-year-old man and his 5-year-old-dog at Toowoomba's Laurel Bank Park.
Guiso, a Catholic, mocked traditional morality saying that because he is a "religious guy" his conscience would not permit him to live with the dog out of wedlock. The "wedding" was attended by 30 friends and family and was internationally reported.
Later, on January 10th the global media returned to Toowoomba after it became one of Australia's most devastated cities. A 26-foot "freak wave" from a nearby overflowing river divided the city in half, ripping homes from their foundations, destroying cars and killing eighteen people.
Although only having a population of 125,000 the city police commissioner Bob Atkinson said the "inland tsunami" prompted 4,500 calls for emergency assistance.
The BBC News reported on the unusual event in these terms:
A massive deluge overwhelmed Toowoomba, a city west of the state capital Brisbane, without warning.
'The event that started in Toowoomba can only be described as a complete freak of nature, an extraordinary deluge that almost came out of nowhere,' the Australian Broadcasting Corporation quoted Ms Bligh as saying.