Cyclone Larry

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by Wildcat, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Well one of the biggest cyclones in decades has hit North Queensland.

    From Yahoo.
    CAIRNS, Australia - Metal roofs littered streets, wooden houses lay in splinters and banana plantations were stripped bare after the most powerful cyclone to hit Australia in three decades lashed the country's eastern coast Monday.

    Amazingly, the storm caused no reported fatalities, and only 30 people suffered minor injuries. But the damage from Cyclone Larry, a Category 5 storm with winds up to 180 mph, was expected to run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Hardest hit was Innisfail, a farming city of 8,500 people 60 miles south of the tourist city of Cairns in northeastern Queensland state.

    "It looks like an atomic bomb hit the place," Innisfail mayor Neil Clarke told Australian television. "It is severe damage. This is more than a local disaster, this is a national disaster."

    The town urgently needs accommodation for people whose homes were damaged, a power supply to feed hospitals and other infrastructure, he said.

    There was no official count of the homeless Monday, but given the number of homes badly damaged, the figure could run into the thousands, Clarke said.

    The casualty toll was so low because people left town or went to shelters after authorities posted warnings. Residents and officials were mindful of the damage Hurricane Katrina did to New Orleans and Mississippi last August, said Ben Creagh, a spokesman for Queensland state Department of Emergency Services.

    "Everyone here studied Katrina and took a lot of messages away, a lot of lessons at the expense of the poor old Yanks," Creagh said. "There was absolutely no complacency at the planning level at all, and I think that shows. ... Good planning, a bit of luck — we've dodged a bullet."

    Within hours of the storm's landfall, officials declared a state of emergency, prepared Black Hawk helicopters to run rescue missions and announced cash payouts for victims — $720 for each adult and $290 for each child who lost their home. Prime Minister John Howard indicated more aid was to come.

    Queensland Premier Peter Beattie said 55 percent of homes in Innisfail had been damaged, though rescue teams had yet to get full access to the swamped region. All roads into the town remained blocked late Monday.

    Innisfail Barrier Reef Motel owner Amanda Fitzpatrick echoed the mayor's damage assessment.

    "We could only go out in the eye of the storm and have a look and it just looks like an atomic bomb has gone off," she told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.

    Farmers were expected to be among the hardest hit. The region is a major growing region for bananas and sugar cane, and vast tracts of the crops were flattened.

    "It looks like someone's gone in there with a slasher and slashed the top off everything," said Bill Horsford, a cane farmer. One lawmaker estimated lost revenues could run to $110 million.

    The storm also barreled over a portion of Australia's Great Barrier Reef, damaging a narrow band of coral, said David Wachenfeld, director of science at the government body that cares for the reef.

    The reef is more than 1,240 miles long, and the affected area is only about 30 miles across and far from the places where nearly 2 million tourists a year gaze in awe at the coral's vibrant colors and fish life, he said.

    It would take 10 to 20 years for new coral to grow and replace the damaged area, he said.

    The storm was the most powerful to hit Australia since Christmas Eve 1974, when Cyclone Tracy destroyed the northern city of Darwin, killing 65 people.

    A man who answered the phone at an Innisfail evacuation center late Monday said it was too soon to estimate the number of people who lost their homes.

    "We are trying to collate at the moment how many houses have been destroyed, how many people we have in shelters," he said. "There are just so many people and so much damage."


    Thank God no one was killed, I think we've been lucky there. It's going to take a long time for the area to get back on its feet though. Alot of the people in the area will be affected by the loss of the Banana and sugar crops as this is the main industry in the area, with about 95% of Australia's Banana's being grown there.
     

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  2. Clave

    Clave Well-Known Member

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    :shock: scary stuff!
     
  3. Pisis

    Pisis Active Member

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    Yeah, I saw that in the TV... Sorry to hear it. I have several friends in QSLD, hope they're all fine!
     

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  4. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Man, that was a big storm. Amazing that no one was killed.
     
  5. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Yes very lucky indeed, I think most were prepared and took appropriate action before it hit. I have family in the area, but they came through fine.
    It was good to see that the Government didn't sit on its arse, but was ready and has put as many resourses into the area as it could.
     
  6. MichaelHenley

    MichaelHenley Member

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    Yeah. I heard it hit Category 5 Just before it made landfall. There's another Cyclone about as well, It will probably hit further down south (if at all).
    Ironically, its what we need. Brisbane is in the middle of the worst drought in 100 years- Total Dam Levels are at 32% at the moment. A cyclone will dump all the water we need, especially seeing as its coming in from the north- where all the dams are.
    Besides storms are cool, I've ridden my bike in a category 2...
     
  7. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Glad to hear tha your family came through it okay.
     
  8. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Glad to hear you made it out allright.
     
  9. MichaelHenley

    MichaelHenley Member

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    Hehe. THe category 2 ws just a really windy day, if i recall, with a bit of rain...
    It didnt seem like much, there wasnt any major damage in brisbane!
     
  10. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Glad all got by safe... Im still trying to fix the damage left by Hurricane Katrina, and that was 6 months ago....
     
  11. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I remember your pics Les. Apparently our people learnt alot of lessons from Katrina, which I guess is a positive.
     
  12. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    man it really doesn't seem like 6 months.........
     
  13. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Yea, Wildcat, lets hope someone learned, cause New Orleans is going to heed NONE of the advice and just repair thier problems rather than do it the right way.....
     
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