Two weeks ago Southern and Central Queensland bore the brunt of mother natures fury and tonight it is Northern Queensland's turn. At this very moment a giant tropical cyclone named Yasi is crossing the North Eastern coast of Queensland. The local time is 1:30am. It is a category 5 storm and one of our news agencies has made the image below with the storm superimposed over USA to show how huge the storm is. The red circle part is the center (which itself is massive) but the entire system would cover three quarters of Europe, or Asia. I knew it is a huge system but I actually couldn't comprehend how enormous until I saw this graphic.
You can read the article above for more comparisons. The bureau of meteorology issued this statement: VERY DESTRUCTIVE winds with gusts up to 290 km/h between Cairns and Ingham and the adjacent ranges will extend inland and gradually weaken. The VERY DESTRUCTIVE CORE of the cyclone will take up to 4 hours to pass.
It is expected that in some areas the storm surge will reach more than 6 metres (I have also heard 9 meters being reported). This is the largest and strongest cyclone in living memory to be faced by Australian's. My step son lives in Townsville, and my brother in laws family are all up in this area too. Evacuations have been taking place over the last few days. Most buildings in Northern Queensland are not rated for category 5 storms, some smaller towns have no buildings strong enough to survive this storm. People have been told not to expect calls for help tonight to be answered, as it is too dangerous for anyone to move around. There are 500 police on standby, the army are ready to move and many other services and agencies ready to swing into action as soon as the storm passes. Our government has told us to expect that the property damage will be massive, let's all hope the human toll will not be.
If you have a minute please say a little prayer for Northern Queensland. I know tonight is going to be sleepless one for us, my heart is with Northern Queensland tonight.