Sur­vey finds dev­as­ta­tion but vast ar­eas un­touched Reef dam­age patchy

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today - by Nathan Paull nathan. paull@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

W H I L E C y c l o n e Y a s i crip­pled the North dur­ing it’s on­slaught, an un­der­wa­ter sur­vey yes­ter­day re­vealed the dev­as­tat­ing im­pact it had un­der the sea.

But in some good news for tourism op­er­a­tors, while the Great Bar­rier Reef was dev­as­tated in parts, vast pock­ets re­main un­touched.

Great Bar­rier Reef Marine Park Au­thor­ity as­sess­ment c o - o r d i n a t o r D r P a u l Mar­shall said about 13 per cent of the Great Bar­rier Reef – rep­re­sent­ing about 300km of the 2400km-long reef – had been ex­posed to Yasi’s de­struc­tive winds.

‘‘ The good news is that the dam­age to these reefs has been patchy," he said.

‘‘ In some in­stances, neigh­bour­ing reefs and co­ral struc­tures have re­mained rel­a­tively un­harmed.’’ cy­clone, par­tic­u­larly on Dunk and Bedarra Is­lands, have suf­fered quite se­vere dam­age to their fa­cil­i­ties and we will be talk­ing to those op­er­a­tors about their plans to recom­mence op­er­a­tions,’’ he said.

‘‘ How­ever, Cy­clone Yasi tracked be­tween the main tourism sites in Cairns, Port Dou­glas and the Whit­sun­days and those ar­eas are still thriv­ing with life’’.

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