Monday, March 20, 2006


Gale warnings announced for areas 7ookmh inland.

Gusting winds are now being reported from Ingham to Port Douglas.

Forced evacuations of some towns along the coast are taking place.

Queensland authorities are unaware if an unspecified number of camp grounds and isolated backpacker hostels have been fully updated as to the rising strength of Cyclone Larry.

Evacuation shelters from Innisfail to Cairns are filling rapidly.

The image “,3600,5125836,00.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The front cover of the Townsville Bulletin (above) on Sunday afternoon, one of the few Queensland papers online, though its latest updates on Cyclone Larry through late Sunday night, early Monday morning, came from the main news feed of its parent site predicted small communities would most likely feel the brunt of the storm, and homes within 300m of the beach. "This is usually 50km south of where it hits the coast because the storm moves in a clockwise motion."

The newspaper reported last night that residents of Townsville are expecting Cyclone Larry to be the worst tropical storm in living memory.

Director of the Centre for Disaster Studies at James Cook University David King was quoted as saying : "'It will be something we will have never experienced before."

The previous biggest cyclone to hit Townsville was on Christmas Eve, 1971. Cyclone Althea was a Category 4 storm. It killed three people and caused property damage worth $115 million. The tidal surge from that storm was measured at 3.66 metres.

On Magnetic Island, now currently in the path of today's cyclone, more than 90 percent of all houses were destroyed.

"Larry should be scary to people," Dr King said told the Townsville Bulletin.