The massive cyclone Yasi is dragging its wind and rain inland with flood warnings extending all the way to Alice Springs and South Australia as Julia Creek and Mt Isa brace for impact from the (by then) category 1 storm.
Back on the coast where the cyclone was at its most fierce, the damage is being counted: the good news is, so far, no deaths, no injuries. In other words, all those warnings and all those preparations did the job, and communities well used to wild tropical weather pulled together and, for the most part, kept their cool.
Communities have been devastated and the economic impact, from the cost of restoring infrastructure to re-establishing crops, will continue to be felt. Homes have to be rebuilt, businesses restored, power reconnected. Farmers are once again being drawn across the rack of nature — it isn’t that long ago that cyclone Larry blazed a path of destruction through the same area. There’s a lot of heartache on the road ahead.
But from the summaries at news.com.au, it seems life has won this round — no graves to be dug so far, but three storm babies born.
For the second time in a month, I’ve felt strangely driven to keep vigil with those in my home state who are facing such fearsome odds, such horrible travails. I’m relieved that, this time round, the price appears to be paid solely in materials, however beloved, and money, not lives. There is some comfort in that.
Here is one place where you can donate to help victims of both Yasi and the earlier flood devastation.
Maybe Opposition leader Tony Abbott, instead of asking for donations to help fund his opposition to a Medicare levy proposed to help pay for post-flood damage, can ask contributors to donate to this instead and actually do some good.