Disaster run takes on global proportions
EARTHQUAKES, tsunamis, floods, cyclones ... when will it all end? That’s the question being posed today after Japan was hit with a massive earthquake yesterday, triggering a tsunami that latest news reports suggest has killed many people. As North Queensland comes to terms with a postYasi flood event, our prayers must go out to Japan, where the destruction seems unimaginable. People will be asking just what has happened to the world’s equilibrium after a summer of destruction, stretching from Australasia to Japan. In Japan, waves swamped buildings and swept away cars, boats, crops and even buildings. People gathered on the roofs of inundated buildings and houses. Women waved white handkerchiefs from windows, seeking help. Television footage showed submerged vehicles as the tsunami hit the city’s coast and of many houses in Sendai, Miyagi prefecture, being washed away by quake-generated waves. High tsunami waves also hit Hiroo on Hokkaido, Japan’s northern island. The full extent of the death toll will not be known for weeks. Closer to home, a massive monsoon trough is expected to drench disaster-weary North Queensland communities over the weekend. Several communities on the Cassowary Coast remain cut off and required food drops yesterday. SES crews are helping flood-proof homes damaged by Cyclone Yasi last month. The townships of Taylors Beach, Lucinda and Halifax and rural properties on the Cardwell Ranges have been cut off since Monday. It’s an exasperating period for Hinchinbrook Shire Mayor Pino Giandomenico who, for the second time in two years, is faced with a multi-million dollar clean-up. Of course, the difficulty for locals is the supply of essential foodstuffs because of the closure of the Bruce Highway. Locals are being urged to stock up on food and medications in case the highway goes under again. Less than an hour north of Ingham, in the area primarily devastated by Cyclone Yasi, Tully Heads and Hull Heads are isolated with roads under 80cm of water in parts. These devastating weather events are taking a huge toll, emotionally, physically and financially. It’s got to the point of; what is next? The Townsville Crocodiles basketball team play New Zealand tonight at The Swamp as they try to solidify their place in the top four to ensure a realistic shot at the NBL title. Let’s hope Townsville bosses get a full house and fans let our Kiwi visitors know they are in Croc country. The home ground advantage needs to be exactly that – an advantage that means raucous support.