Cyclone update

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Marguerite, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    People ha e emerged and taken stock. The physical damage is severe in places. A lot of places. It was a devastating cyclone and it will cost a great deal to recover from it. Various crops have been wiped out - last time when Cyclone Larry went through the area, bananas were simply unavailable. Same problem again - it will be a year before the banana plantations are commercial again.


    Absolutely amazing. In fact, we came out ahead on the population count - three babies were born in the area last night, one of them in the evac centre in Cairns. I think it was a shopping mall with mattresses on the floor. There was a British tourist who happened to be there, she and her husband were here on holiday and ended up in the evac centre, so she was able to help deliver the baby. The poor mother had no pain relief at all, not even paracetamol! No way to get them to a hospital if anything went wrong. The little girl was born at 6 am, while the cyclone was still raging.

    The other two babies - the mothers were already in hospital, so they had the help available if they needed it.

    So all the planning, the preparation and teamwork has paid off. As the Premier said last night, "Human life is what matters. Don't even take the time to pack a bag - just go to an evac centre. Get to safety now, while you can."

    It paid off.

  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Yippeee!!!!!!!!! Thank God!!
  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    That's great news!
  4. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Marg, I heard this morning it was the biggest storm every - anywhere!

    Amazing no lives were lost. Sending prayers for your recovery & emotional health in Australia!
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Isn't it amazing how resiient people are? Sometimes it's hard to believe that so few are even injured when a huge storm goes through. The lowering of the barometric pressure brings on childbirth (or at least that's what the experts used to say) so all expectant Moms in their last month are offered space in hospitals just in case. Being naive I stayed with my family. Not too bright, lol.

    I'll be interested in hearing about the recovery of your Country. Your posts are so interesting and I look forward to keeping abreast of the progress. Glad your family wasn't theatened. Hugs. DDD
  6. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    So wonderful no one was lost!

    I'm not surprised at the damage. It certainly will take time, a long time, for recovery. N.O. is still recovering from Katrina 5.5 years later. :(
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    The news is on again. Our morning program Sunrise, the one Oprah commented that she was watching a lot while she was here, is in the area interviewing people who live there. After Cyclone Larry (same area, 5 years ago, only Category 4) Sunrise organised a volunteer army of tradespeople to go there and do a lot of repairs.

    On the casualty front - I heard there is one man missing, they have realised. He was last seen when he went to check up on his boat. Doesn't sound good. They said there could be more, as communication is restored. A lot of mobile towers are down, power will be out for some time, and that means battery power for emergency service is about to die. Some areas will be without power for at least two weeks.

    The media are there only because they bunkered down with the residents. They are making do with no power also. There are trucks loaded with supplies, generators and equipment waiting to get through, but blocked by the floods and storm surge.

    As the support staff move in, they are 'discovering' areas of damage which are isolated and unable to communicate. That is when we might hear of more casualties.

  8. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Sure hope the casualties are minimal, if any.
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    They have just reported the first death. It was a young man, 23 years old, who was sheltering in an unventilated shed which had a generator running. He suffocated on the fumes. So very sad. There is still no news about the bloke who went to check on his yacht. He told his family in the US over the phone, that he was going to move it to the mangroves for safety. I don't think that would have been very safe, not given the scale of this monster cyclone.

    They just haven't got enough communications in there yet; so perhaps it was too soon for them to call "no fatalities". But compared to the Toowoomba flood surge, this still looks like the loss of life has been kept to a minimum by good preparation and organisation. That is going to really be tested now, as that is what it will take to begin the clean-up. The damage to the sugar crop alone is in the billions, they say. An entire industry, and the livelihoods of people for at least the next year, wiped out. But human life - that is more important.

    I'll update as I know more.

  10. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm I right that the difference between a hurricane and a cyclone is the direction of the winds?? I think I remember right...but not sure. DDD
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Different wind direction = northern hemisphere vs southern hemisphere. Otherwise - cyclone - hurricane. The categories don't compare because the rating system is different. But from what was on the front of yesterday's paper, Yasi outclassed Katrina on the intensity and size stakes.

    News so far - one confirmed death, I think two missing. The news just says "others missing" so I think the premature announcement of no deaths has made people more cautious about making too strong a statement.

    On the La Nina effect that is causing all this (including causing the freak snow storms in the US) - "Notably, the southern oscillation index, which measures air pressure differences between Tahiti and Darwin, currently stands at 20.8 with any reading above 8 associated with a La Nina weather event. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology this morning advised it believes that index has peaked, but sees a risk that the La Nina event could persist in 2011."

    No flippin' wonder we're in trouble!

    A hot current here, - a cold current on the other side of the ocean, usually to the same extreme. And vice versa.

  12. Jena

    Jena New Member

    glad to hear you and family are ok. (((Hugs)))
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    So far still only the one death, and so tragic - it shouldn't have happened.

    As for the missing yachtie - he sailed in to harbour this afternoon unhurt, apparently. There are still two missing, they said. But the scale of the damage is incredible.

    The banana plantations - they learned after Cyclone Larry, that the smaller banana trees had a better chance of surviving, so before Yasi hit, a lot of farmers deliberately slashed their banana trees in half. Many of these have survived, they say they will be producing bananas in a few months. We're now being told that to buy bananas will be a patriotic act!