Disas­ter run takes on global pro­por­tions

Townsville Bulletin - - Voice Of The North -

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.

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