Monday, March 20, 2006


Innisfail before the storm, described in realty guides as being in the heart of Queensland's tropical north.

The small town of Innisfail on the North Queensland coast is being hit hard by the cyclonic winds of this officially declared Category Five storm.

Innisfail resident Diana O'Brien told ABC Radio that at dawn her home was vibrating steadily from the force of the winds, now reaching towards 150kmh as the eye of the storm moves onto the coast.

"The rain is so heavy, the air is all white with the rain. We're just at first light here, there's only a little bit of light in the sky, the sun hasn't really come up yet and we're getting winds now from the west and all the trees are leaning over at an angle of 45 degrees or more."

Innisfail was home to eight thousand residents. A good number of those residents are believed to have evacuated themselves to the homes of family and friends outside the area, on Saturday and Sunday. An unknown number have stayed and taken shelter in the emergency shelters provided by the town's authorities.

The main street of the small, picturesque town of Innisfail, now facing the full Category Five force of Cyclone Larry. Reports from inside the town as the cyclone eye nears are thin on the ground.


ABC Radio for Far North Queensland has just lost a transmitter at Mount Bellenden Ker to the cyclonic winds, and at least two local frequencies are reported to be off the air at this time.

A cyclonic storm warning was issued two hours ago for the area Cairns to Bowen.

A gale warning was issued for the area Cape Tribulation to Mackay.

A strong winds warning was issued for Mackay to Double Island Point, including Hervey Bay.