Cyclone leaves hundreds homeless in Australia

We had Katrina, and now look at Larry.

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Last Updated Mon, 20 Mar 2006 12:44:36 EST
CBC News
A cyclone that ripped across parts of the northeast Australian state of Queensland on Sunday has left hundreds of people homeless and thousands without electricity, local government officials said Monday.

Police say more than half of the homes in Innisfail, a coastal town of 8,500, were destroyed.

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Where I live, we had 12 inches of rain in 3 days ending yesterday. The day before it started, we were fighting grassfires from severe drought. This weather is CRAZY! Well, we are set for summer/the lake is full.

Yep, there is severe devastation in Australia following this. We've had little coverage on it , I suspect partly because we are starting to get used to these events, and only pay attention if a lot of people are killed, which luckily wasnt the case in Australia. Have a good friend in Cairns however who luckily is ok but has absolute devastation of her garden and amazingly the large trees that fell missed her house. But the town which depends a lot on tourism is severely damaged and once again weather has created a longstanding economic disaster..
I know this is nothing compared to the destruction of so many homes.....but we lost about 90% of our banana crops! Australians consume 400 000 cartons of bananas per week and now there are only 16 000 cartons left! Our quarantine rules are too strict to allow us to import I guess we'll just have to make do without any bananas for a while
I didnt know that Australia was such a big banana producer. So you dont import any at all? That shows how even one little commodity like a banana can have a huge economic crisis...
Australia and America really do have ****ty weather.
Johnny Utah
Australia's cyclone survivors fire up their barbecues as cleanup effort begins.
INNISFAIL, Australia (AP) - After their town was torn apart by a terrifying cyclone, amazingly without loss of life, the people of Innisfail responded with a most Australian of gatherings: a barbie.

Butchers and restaurant owners in the town offered up their wares to survivors rather than see them rot in refrigerators warming quickly in the tropical heat after the storm cut electricity in this town about 1,900 kilometres north of Sydney.

More than 1,000 residents turned out to munch on donated lamb chops, steaks and sausages amid twisted metal roofing sheets and palms trees stripped bare.

"It's looking after our home, isn't it?" said Jeff Baines, one of the barbecue organizers, who wore a chef's uniform as he cooked up dozens of sausages. "If we don't look after our home who's going to?"

The barbecue reflected a determination to make the best of things in the town of 8,000 people Tuesday, a day after cyclone Larry, the most powerful cyclone to hit northeastern Australia in decades, lifted the roofs off scores of homes and devastated hundreds of square kilometres of sugar cane and banana crops.

At the River Drive trailer park, a man who identified himself as Brad sat in a plastic garden chair under a leaking tarp, shirtless, drinking a can of beer.

"I'm 42 years of age this year, and I've never been through anything like that," he said.

Most of the park's trees were uprooted and several small buildings were destroyed, but amazingly none of the trailers was badly damaged.

The nearby banana plantations where Brad worked, however, were wiped out.

"My job now is history," he said. "There's no point crying about it is there? You've just got to carry on."

No one was killed when the tempest struck early Monday and only minor injuries were reported. But officials estimated that thousands of people in Innisfail and surrounding towns were left with severely damaged homes.

"There most certainly would be around 7,000 people . . . that are effectively homeless," Australian legislator Bob Katter told The Associated Press. "They're sitting in four walls but no roof."

Hundreds of troops rumbled into Innisfail on Tuesday to provide fresh water, food, shelter and other emergency relief. Police also sent extra officers to the region.

"We're mindful that looting is a possibility, and we have the resources if we need to deal with it," said police Supt. Mike Keating, speaking on Australian television. He said no looting has been reported.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard pledged aid to the shattered communities and said he would visit them Wednesday. (external - login to view)

Having barbecues after the cyclone hit, only in Australia. Which says alot of Australians in a very good way
ah yes---
the good aussies
the good brits
the good americans
the bad french.......
so predictable
so amusing
Quote: Originally Posted by cortez

I didnt know that Australia was such a big banana producer. So you dont import any at all? That shows how even one little commodity like a banana can have a huge economic crisis...

Ohh its a massive economic blow!! You know, all I hear on the news every day about the cyclone, is the devastation of such a huge loss of bananas.....I actually had no idea what the effect on housing and infrastructure was till I just read that article there!

Its something we just take for granted.....bananas are so healthy and co cheap, everyone is just used to having them on hand, whenever they feel like one. JUst to give you an indication.......before the cyclone hit, banana's sold for around 80c a they're well over $6 a kilo!!

They're saying the crops wont recover for another 2/3 years but I dunno if that means we're banana-less till then or simply that it'll take 2/3 years to get crops exactly the way they were before the cyclone hit.

Either way, its a huge economic blow! And no, we dont import any! Quarantine rules for fruit are just too damn far as I know, we pretty much grow all our own fruit.
Interesting. I see there is huge concern over the Barrier Reef as well... This could certainly have disturbed the reef ecosystem for many years too.
Does Australia export a lot of bananas or is it mainly internal use?
I havent heard anything about the GBR, that area is used to cyclones so I'm sure the Reef has means of coping with that kind of stress, I doubt there was much damage and definitely nothing significant!

As for the bananas, I cant tell you if we export them or not cos I'm not quite sure. Even if we do, we export a huge amount of other resources so that shouldnt hurt us too bad economically.

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