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Old 03-20-2006, 05:42 AM   #1
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Powerful Cyclone Slams Australia

http://articles.news.aol.com/news/ar...00010000000001

Powerful Cyclone Slams Australia
Category 5 Storm Inflicts 'Immense' Property Damage
By MERAIAH FOLEY, AP

SYDNEY, Australia (March 20) - A powerful tropical cyclone ripped the roofs off buildings and uprooted trees in northeastern Australia, tearing across the region on Monday with devastating winds that kept emergency workers holed up despite pleas from terrified residents.


With winds up to 180 mph at its height, Tropical Cyclone Larry smashed into the coastal community of Innisfail, about 60 miles south of Cairns, a popular jumping-off point for the Great Barrier Reef. Hundreds of tourists bunkered down in resort hotels.

Queensland state Premier Peter Beattie declared a state of emergency, calling it the worst cyclone to hit the region in decades. More than half the buildings in Innisfail, home to about 8,500 people, were damaged, he said.

"Some have been flattened, roofs have been taken off," Beattie told Macquarie Radio. "The property damage has been immense."

The military sent helicopters to the region to assess damage and transport a medical team.

About a dozen people were treated at regional hospitals for minor cuts and abrasions, said state health spokesman Jim Guthrie.


Many Innisfail residents rode out the storm in their homes. Des Hensler sheltered alone in a church, up to his ankles in water.

"I don't get scared much, but this is something to make any man tremble in his boots," he told the Seven television network. "There's a gray sheet of water, horizontal to the ground, and just taking everything in its path."

At the storm's height, police said they were unable to venture out to help fearful residents who called to say the gale-force winds had ripped the roofs off buildings and destroyed their homes.

The Bureau of Meteorology on Monday upgraded the cyclone to a Category 5 -- the strongest category possible -- shortly before it crossed the coast, but then lowered it to a Category 3 as the storm crossed land and weakened, with wind gusts up to 125 mph.

The storm passed directly over the Great Barrier Reef, but there was no immediate word on what damage it may have sustained. The reef, the largest coral system in the world, runs parallel to the coast for more than 1,400 miles.

Government and emergency officials were meeting Monday in Canberra to discuss sending troops to help clean up the cyclone-stricken area.

"If any military assets are needed, they will be made available," Prime Minister John Howard said.

Howard said he was confident the cyclone would not result in the chaos seen in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

The storm devastated the region's multimillion-dollar banana and sugar farming industry, said George Pervan, deputy mayor of Johnstone Shire Council.

"The crops are all gone, bananas are all flattened, cane's flattened. It'll kill us for 12 or 18 months," Pervan said.

Up to 50,000 homes in the region were without power, and were expected to remain without electricity for several days, said Gaylene Whenmouth, a spokeswoman for Ergon Energy Cairns.

"It is still too windy to send crews out to do restoration, but we will be doing that as soon as we can, whenever it is safe to do so," Whenmouth said.

State Disaster Coordination Center spokesman Peter Rekers said thousands of volunteers were on standby to help with the cleanup, and warned residents to be on their guard for deadly animals stirred up by the storm.

"Keep your kids away from flooded drains, be aware of snakes and crocodiles," he said. "Those guys will have had a bad night too."
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Old 03-20-2006, 05:49 AM   #2
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Such a beautiful part of Australia.

How I love Cairns & Port Douglas.

Thank God, no lost of life.
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Old 03-20-2006, 08:32 AM   #3
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I saw that on the news this morning
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Old 03-20-2006, 12:41 PM   #4
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http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/asiapc...rry/index.html

Another article. Hope our Austrailian friends are okay.
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Old 03-20-2006, 01:05 PM   #5
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I feel terrible for everyone there, thank god no loss of life and thank Bono and his family left during the week.
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Old 03-20-2006, 02:07 PM   #6
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I hope all of our Aussie Interlanders and their families are safe and sound.
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Old 03-20-2006, 02:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by verte76
I hope all of our Aussie Interlanders and their families are safe and sound.


If the shows in the Southern Hemisphere had not been postponed, how would this of affected the tour, or would it have?
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Old 03-20-2006, 02:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Souly
http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/asiapc...rry/index.html

Another article. Hope our Austrailian friends are okay.
That's majorly scary. I hope everyone is ok over there!
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Old 03-20-2006, 06:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lila64

If the shows in the Southern Hemisphere had not been postponed, how would this of affected the tour, or would it have?
Not at all. It's the equivalent in distance of wondering whether a hurricane hitting New Orleans would affect a U2 show in New York.
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Old 03-20-2006, 07:21 PM   #10
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thanks for the geography lesson - I had no clue
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Old 03-21-2006, 02:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lila64




If the shows in the Southern Hemisphere had not been postponed, how would this of affected the tour, or would it have?

This is EXACTLY what I wondered as I sat watching this on TV. How horrible! Haven't we had enough bad weather hit the earth this past year?
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Old 03-21-2006, 03:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lila64




If the shows in the Southern Hemisphere had not been postponed, how would this of affected the tour, or would it have?
Put it this way: the day the cyclone hit, it was brilliantly sunny here in Brisbane, the closest city to the cyclone.

Bit of a dull, dreary day today though, the day the show was meant to take place.
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Old 03-21-2006, 03:49 AM   #13
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Old 03-21-2006, 05:37 AM   #14
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Originally posted by Axver


Put it this way: the day the cyclone hit, it was brilliantly sunny here in Brisbane, the closest city to the cyclone.
I hate how you can't correct typos if the post is over an hour old. I meant to say that Brisbane is the closest city to the cyclone that U2 were to play.

I don't know what the criteria is to define a city in Australia, but I've always thought of Cairns and Townsville as cities and they were both affected by the cyclone. Not a chance in hell of U2 playing either of them, though!
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Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 03-21-2006, 05:48 AM   #15
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The funniest thing to come out of this tragedy is the fact that George Bush asked our prime minister if we needed help.......
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