THE LIGHTS GO ON FOR THOUSANDS MORE EVERY DAY
BUT 4000 HOMES AND BUILDINGS TOO DAMAGED TO HAVE POWER RESTORED
Ten percent of the 12,000 houses and buildings assessed by electricity suppliers in Far North Queensland have now got their power back on.
But another 4000 homes and buildings in and around Innsifail were too damaged to be reconnected to the mains electricity supply.
When Cyclone Larry hit, more than 140,000 people lost their electricity acroos Innisfail, coastal areas east of Innisfail, the southern Tablelands, Tully and Babinda. Now less than 14,000 people are estimated to be still without power one week on.
DAMAGE BILL TO BREAK THROUGH $1 BILLION, SAYS COSGROVE
DISASTER PLANS NEED UPDATING
General Peter Cosgrove, co-ordinator for the disaster relief, told Channel 9 he's pretty happy about the first round of Federal and State government aid packages....but more will be needed. Much, much more.
There's plenty of volunteers and equipment, but Cosgrove's talking about "good old fashioned cash".
Cosgrove reckons the total bill from cyclone-related damage will head over $1 billion within a couple of years.
Of the disaster management plans that were already in place and fired up in the days before Cyclone Larry hit, he said they worked, but they now needed updating.
"The plans work extremely well but it is very hard to anticipate the exact nature and impact of a major disaster such as this. This is literally a once in 100 years event, the cyclone was almost off the scale and in that regard the plans actually worked so well as to prevent any major loss of life, it's a miracle."
(Cosgrove's quotes were rush-transcribed off a Channel 9 interview, so they might be a bit out)
THE QUEEN SENDS HER BEST REGARDS
Her Majesty Queen Liz passed this message onto the Governor General : "I was greatly concerned to learn about the terrible damage caused by last week's cyclone in north Queensland. I should be grateful if you could convey my sympathy to all those whose lives have been affected by this disaster, together with my admiration for the emergency services and all those many others who have been working so hard to alleviate the suffering."
If you really want to alleviate some suffering up there, Lizzie, cash in some of those Crown Jewels and send the money to Cosgrove.