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Cyclone Yasi

  • February 3rd, 2011
  • Posted by EUEditor

yasi-3.jpgThe massive tropical cyclone codenamed “Yasi” struck the North Queensland coast at midnight local time on Wednesday, at Mission Beach near the towns of Innisfail and Tully, bringing devastation during six hours of darkness.

yasi-alm-tree-cyclone.jpgAs daylight slowly emerged people remained confined indoors, none able to venture out, though authorities confirmed no structural damage to major buildings being used as public shelters.

The first police patrols reported extensive damage to areas at the centre, in some places 90% of buildings in a damaged state.

While the area has a long history of tropical storms, they would strike at one place or another; this cyclone hit the whole coastal strip between Cairns and Townsville, and beyond.

Parts of Cairns received a buffeting, there’s been extensive damage in Townsville, and destruction from the cyclone even further South of that city.

Residents of the region talked all night on radio stations.

One man said the noise of the wind was like jet turbines on constant power, or accelerating; the panoply of noise was punctuated by shredding and cracking of trees, and banging of roof-tops torn off houses.

People in shelters wanted to know if their homes would stand up; said one elderly lady:

“I don’t know what I’m going to see when I get out; maybe nothing, if the cyclone has blown it all away”.

As the cyclone moved inland it was down-graded from Category 5 to 2, continuing to weaken, though winds that had reached almost 300 kilometres per hour were still blowing at about 200 kph – small towns in its path.

A relief and clean-up effort called “Operation Yasi Resist”, deploying 4000 soldiers from the Townsville army base, was gearing up to begin.

Some of the effort might have to be devoted to flood relief, as a rain band over areas around Townsville and further South and West, brought heavy falls.

See also, EUAustralia Online, “Cyclone Vigil …”, 2.2.11.