Posts Tagged ‘Cyclone Tracy’

Before my travels around Oz, I had no idea that in 1974 a devastating cyclone decimated the northern city of Darwin.

Cyclone Tracy wiped out 75 per cent of homes in the area and killed 65 people. At the Museum of the Northern Territory, on the outskirts of Darwin’s CBD, there is a fantastic exhibition dedicated to Cyclone Tracy, full of newspaper articles, news broadcasts, photographs and even pieces of peoples’ homes and street furniture which were rescued from the debris.

You can step into a special recreation of the cyclone, standing in a room which jerks violently from side to side as a recording of Tracy is played at loud volume. I found it a pretty eerie and frightening exhibition and it really brought to life the terror and devastation of a cyclone.

Tonight, thousands will live through that experience for real when Cyclone Yasi hits the northern part of Queensland overnight. What’s most terrifying is that Yasi is now classified as a category 5 cyclone – Tracy was an upper category 4. Yasi is likely to have winds of around 300kmh, whereas Tracy had winds of about 217kmh. Yasi has an estimated spread of around 800km, whereas Tracy was much smaller in comparison.

Having seen the devastation caused by Tracy, albeit at an exhibition, it’s still hard to comprehend that the potential of Yasi is so much worse. Tragically however, it’s becoming pretty clear the state is likely to¬†experience the worst cyclone in the whole of Australian history.

Image of a cyclone

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