A category 5 cyclone, more severe than Cyclone Tracy or Hurricane Katrina, lashes Far North Queensland and there is not a single fatality.
It perhaps says something about Australia, modern economies and democracies and their potential capacity to adapt and to survive?
Congratulations Far North Queensland!
When we were less technologically advance, that is on 10th March 1918 and a severe cyclone hit Innisfail, over 80 people died.
Following is the note in the Bureau of Meterology records for that event:
“This cyclone is widely regarded as the worst cyclone to hit a populated area of Queensland. It crossed the coast and passed directly over Innisfail. Pen on Post Office barograph was prevented from registering below 948 hPa by flange on bottom of drum. 926 hPa read at the Mourilyan Sugar mill at 7 pm 10 Mar. The eye wall reached Innisfail at 9 pm. In Innisfail, then a town of 3,500 residents, only around 12 houses remained intact the rest being blown flat or unroofed. A report from the Harbours and Marine Engineer indicated that at Maria Creek the sea rose to a height of about 3m above high water (If this refers to HAT the water was 4.65m above the tide for that day). Around 4.40pm 10 Mar at Bingil Bay a tidal wave was seen surging in from the east into Bingil Bay taking the bridge over the creek 400 m inland. Mission Beach was covered by 3.6 m water for hundreds of metres inland, the debris reached a height of 7m in the trees. All buildings and structures were destroyed by the storm surge in the Bingil Bay Mission beach area. The surge was 2.6m at Flying Fish Point. Babinda also had many buildings destroyed and some reports suggest that not one building was left standing. There was widespread damage at Cairns and on the Atherton Tablelands. Recent reports suggest that 37 people died in Innisfail while 40 to 60 (mostly aborigines) lost their lives in nearby areas.”
My aunt and brother who live in Cairns and Smithfield, respectively, are fine. They both said there was a bit of wind last night, but otherwise OK.