Extreme weather strikes again.
How are you folks in Queensland doing? Looks like you are getting no peace from the weather there. I just read the following.
Catastrophic’ Cyclone Makes Landfall in Australia
“We are facing a storm of catastrophic proportions in a highly populated area,” the Queensland state premier, Anna Bligh, said after officials upgraded Tropical Cyclone Yasi to a Category 5 system, the highest and most destructive storm rating. “The next 24 hours is going to be, frankly, a very terrifying 24 hours for the people in the danger area.”
Queenslanders are a tough bunch, but even this year has been a trial. Holding our breath here in Canada waiting for word. Stay safe.
Yasi did her thing thankfully with no loss of lives - there are two men missing but they are believed to have evacuated out without registering where they were going. Some awesome footage of Yasi making landfall at Mission Beach live on ABC news last night - including the media gaff of the year when a journalist said "One of our reporters is bonking
down in the evacuation centre at Cairns" only to realise what he had said before a quick recovery to Bunkering down :-)
Backpackers got a special mention for all the wrong reasons - shouting Yasi Yasi Yasi OI OI OI was not what authorities nor the people of FNQ who knew what they were in for wanted -
A HUGE kudos to QLD premier Anna Blyth for her incredible strength and composure during what must seem like endless onslaughts from mother nature.
Mission Beach, Tully and Cardwell were "ground zero" and the devastation to properties is massive - a testiment to the peoples spirit.
I think its time mother nature gave QLDers a break.
From the reports we've had here in the US there was no loss of life and that is amazing considering the size of this storm.
If any of you go diving soon let us know the damage to the reef.
GBR is in good condition - some areas around where Yasi made landfall have coral breakages but generally marine bio's and the GBR Management Authority have said they are suprised how well the reef has coped with both the cyclone and flood water runoff. Effects of flood water run off will be difficult to predict but the reef tours and diving are going ahead - anyone considering going to the GBR is encouraged to go, lord knows they need the tourism revenue.
I'm a resident of Cairns and was here through the recent storms.
As far as travellers are concerned the only significant damage is to Mission Beach which was hit pretty severely, and will now need quite a bit of rebuilding. Having said that it also took a major hit in the previous big storm (Cyclone Larry in 2006) and bounced back pretty quickly.
The main (and only!) road south from Cairns was cut initially which stranded travelers for a while, but is all up and running again now.
I should also think anyone looking for fruit-picking work would be best to try elsewhere for a few months!
Other than that the whole rest for Far North Queensland is up and running as far as tourism is concerned and has suffered very little damage outside the Mission Beach immediate area. The main reef sites are well to the north of this and will be largely unaffected I'd imagine (I'm actually due to take part in a reef survey in a few weeks time so will find out for sure then!).
However, weatherwise it's not exactly the best season round these parts until about April... the clue is in the season's name....The Wet!
Similarly the main tourist spots further south were largely unaffected by the floods...
Fear not... Queensland is still open for business and will be back to its beautiful best within weeks!