More than $60 million will be spent in the next few months building 10 new storm shelters to protect 5000 Queenslanders from Category 5 cyclones. But just how strong does the Queensland government, and generous United Arab Emirates donors, think future cyclones are going to be?
From Cairns.com.au :
The United Arab Emirates's gift of $30 million is being matched by the Queensland Government.The fastest wind speed ever recorded on Planet Earth was on Australia's Barrow Island, during Cyclone Olivia in 1996. The anemometer recorded 408kmh.
“Far North Queensland is right in the firing line during cyclone season and this generous gift from Abu Dhabi is a catalyst for new shelters in the region,’’ Ms Bligh said.
The shelters will be designed and constructed to Category 5 standard and to provide protection to more than 500 people each from winds up to 3000km/h, windborne debris and storm tide inundation.
“We will build these shelters as quickly as we can and I want as many as possible to open progressively during 2012,’’ Ms Bligh said.
Either the quoted wind speed in the Cairns Post story is a mistake (obviously) or Queensland is expected to encounter Neptune-strength cyclones.
There is a strong belief in Far North Queensland, in government, local councils and disaster management, that the area truly dodged a bullet, and escaped an horrific death toll, when the eye of the 500km wide Cyclone Yasi unexpectedly collapsed shortly after coming ashore. The event exposed a shocking lack of available shelters built to withstand Category 5 cyclones. Townsville, for instance, had no cyclone shelters at all.
Feb 2, 2011 - The Night Of The SuperStorm