Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Cyclone Yasi; The Aftermath

For most of the tracking of Cyclone Yasi, it appeared that it would make a direct hit on Cairns. But at the last minute on the 3rd of Feb. 2011 it diverged slightly to the south sparing Cairns from a major disaster. Tidal surges and water to more than a metre in the business district was predicted. But all of that went south to the vicinity of Silkwood, Mission Beach, and, to some extent Innisfail. You may recall Cyclone Larry some 5 years ago hit Innisfail head-on and caused much destruction. Those poor folks were just about recovered when Yasi made its appearance and suddenly veered south. The path of destruction of Yasi stretched from Port Douglas in the north to well south of Hinchinbrook Island.

Cairns did not escape without some damage. Many big trees were felled and a few buildings were flattened. The Botanic Gardens seem to always take the brunt of these cyclones. The gardeners told me that it was not as bad as with Larry, but it was still a mess. Several big trees and palms came down. On the positive side, if there is such a thing with cyclones, it opened the canopy a bit and is letting light in where it had been dark for years. This will accelerate growth for plants in those areas. There was no major damage to buildings.

Curator David Warmington has provided a few photos of the damage cause to the Gardens by Cyclone Yasi.







The Barron River Falls at Kuranda just after the cyclone passed--water and silt heading towards tot ocean---and the Great Barrier Reef. Buck Richardson photo

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