VIDEO: Dunny left standing in Mission Beach after Cyclone Yasi
---- 1:09 PM ----
VIDEO: Tour of Cairns after Cyclone Yasi
---- 1:05 PM ----
The flood relief fund is now the Disaster Relief Fund. The fund stood at $192,470,566 today.
"I know they have been digging deep but my message once again is that we need you to keep digging, If you've already donated I'm asking you to think about giving again." - Anna Bligh
---- 12:46 PM ----
Notes from the Queensland Police Service media conference:
- 22 houses assessed as having major damage in Mission Beach.
- SES making way into communities to assess damage to target repair crews when they arrive. Repair should start tomorrow.
- Weather and storm surge restricted police ability to access some communities, but they are now in Cardwell and assessing the damage.
- More than 1500 calls to SES so far. That will increase as people return to their houses.
- Cairns Hospital Emergency Department opened at 11am
- Flash flooding concerns for Ingham and Giru. Listen to local media for warnings
- Mission Beach, Cardwell, Tully Heads, El Arish, and nearby towns with significant structural damage.
---- 12:00 PM ----
The first media able to get into Cardwell is the Courier Mail whose journos are reporting widespread damage: "The marina is destroyed, million-dollar boats have been ripped apart, homes have had roofs torn off, buildings are just shells, power lines are down everywhere and the town is barely recognisable."
---- 11:15 AM ----
Reports are coming in that all banana crops have been lost and over $505 million worth of sugar cane is also gone.
Additional notes from Anna Bligh's 9:30 AM media briefing:
- There are unconfirmed reports of damage to a water treatment plant in Townsville.
- Bruce Hwy might reopen later today once debris is removed
- Cairns Hospital likely to reopen its ER later today.
- “There are many unknowns” Bligh says of claims by Cassowary Coast mayor that grave fears are held for 100 people in isolated communities in Innisfail region. “we won’t be saying we’ve dodged bullets until we can say everyone is safe”.
- The Premier’s flood appeal will be broadened to be a wider disaster appeal.
---- 10:00 AM ----
Notes from Anna Bligh's 9:30 AM media briefing:
- The 6 people who called police last night from Port Hinchinbrook are safe and well.
- Please stay off the roads and let emergency workers do their jobs.
- Accommodation planning underway for people whose homes have been damaged or destroyed.
- Work underway to reopen emergency centre at Cairns Hospital.
- Tully hospital lost part of it's roof, all patients and staff ok.
- 25 phone towers outed, more outages expected in coming hours if power can't be restored to hubs.
- High voltage power lines to FNQ not damaged, but lines to coastal areas are damaged. Extent of damage unknown, 177,000 houses with out power.
- Ingham reporting some damage and road closures, but focusing on coming flooding.
- Palm Island reporting property damage, including roofs off and power outages, but no serious injuries.
- Boats from marina pushed two blocks into the town.
- One in three houses in Tully damaged or destroyed. Cardwell significant devastation reported.
- Innisfail area, Mission Beach, Cardwell, Tully, Silkwell badly damaged.
- Rainfall has led to flooding in Tully river. Prepare for moderate to heavy flooding: Ingham and Townsville.
- No room for complacency in bland centers. Prepare for Cyclone.
- Still waiting on reports from some small communities.
"It's just like the place has been sprayed with napalm ... There's hardly a green leaf around, all of the beautiful mountains are now brown." - Bill Horsford (Cassowary councillor)
---- 8:53 AM ----
Do not return to storm surge areas. A second surge is developing in some areas, and dangerous flooding is occurring.
People near the Esplanade at cairns should immediately leave the storm surge area. Flooding is occurring.
Fallen trees have closed a number of major roads including The Bruce Highway south of Ingham, Ingham To Forrest Beach and the Halifax/Lucinda Road (no access to halifax).
Further advise to follow when more reports known. (Queensland Police Service)
"The trees are like matchsticks. The driveway is completely covered in branches. The bush we drove through to get here has been completely defoliated." - Brad Ambrose (Photographer) at Mission Beach
---- 8:07 AM ----
Three babies have been born during the height of the cyclone.
No reports of serious injuries or deaths at this stage.
(Queensland Police Service)
"The devastation is phenomenal, like nothing I've ever experienced." - David Brook (Mission Beach Elandra Resort) via news.com.au
"Around 10pm there was this massive roar and we could hear vegetation being shredded to pieces." - Sergeant Dan Gallagher (Mission Beach)
---- 7:38 AM ----
Cyclone tracking: Danger area from Cyclone Yasi
---- 7:10 AM ----
The categorisation of Cyclones. Tropical Cyclone Yasi has been downgraded to category two.
Up to 125km/hr (Gales)
1.2 - 1.6m
Slight damage. Trees and farmland damaged.
126 - 169km/hr (Destructive)
1.7 - 2.5m
Significant Damage. Minor house damage. Severe damage to signs and trees. Heavy damage to crops
170 - 224km/hr (Very Destructive)
2.6 - 3.7m
Structural damage. House roofs and most likely power failures
225 - 279km/hr (Very Destructive)
3.8 - 5.4m
Significant roofing and structural damage. Airborne debris, widespread power failure
Winds above 280km/hr (Very Destructive)
More than 5.5m
Almost total destruction and extremely dangerous. Houses flattened, cars over turned
---- 7:05 AM ----
The Bureau of Meteorology Yasi has been downgraded to category 2.
YASI CONTINUES TO WEAKEN, BUT IS PRODUCING HEAVY RAIN AND DANGEROUS WIND GUSTS AS IT MOVES ACROSS THE TROPICAL INTERIOR.
---- 6:59 AM ----
Currently no reports of loss of life or injury.
---- 6:49 AM ----
A baby has been born at a Cairns evacuation centre. As reported earlier, Akiko Pruss went into labour at Redlynch State College about 2.45am. After a three-hour labour, Ms Pruss gave birth to a healthy baby girl.
It's the second child for Ms Pruss and her husband Christian, who live in Cairns.
---- 6:47 AM ----
GALLERY: First look at the destruction of Yasi
"It's far too early yet to start talking about dodging bullets." - Anna Bligh
---- 6:25 AM ----
Residents in the Townsville area are encouraged to stay indoors. Conditions are still dangerous and for safety reasons, people are requested to remain in their place of safety and do not use the roads unless extremely urgent.
(Queensland Police Services)
---- 6:01 AM ----
Major Peter Cosgrove says the first priorty today will be to "count heads".
---- 5:50 AM ----
Police answering emergency calls say there are no reports of injury in Townsville as yet.
---- 5:30 AM ----
A woman has given birth in a Cairns evacuation centre. Mum and bub doing fine. Meanwhile, emergency services say they can now answer 000 calls in Innisfail area.
---- 5:09 AM ----
Cyclone Yasi downgraded to category three.
---- 4:40 AM ----
Early reports from ABC journalists in FNQ suggest "Cairns dodged a bullet", Tully has been "devastated" and grave fears are held for Mission Beach.
---- 4:20 AM ----
The latest update from the Bureau of Meteorology puts Cyclone Yasi 165km south southwest of Cairns and 100kmwest of Cardwell and moving west southwest at 34km/hr.
YASI IS MOVING INLAND AND WEAKENING SLOWLY, BUT REMAINS A DANGEROUS CYCLONE.
It will weaken as it continues to move in a west-southwesterly direction towards the Georgetown area during the morning.
The VERY DESTRUCTIVE core, with gusts up to 230 km/hr, is continuing to move inland west of Cardwell.
DESTRUCTIVE winds with gusts in excess of 125 km/hr are occurring between Innisfail and Townsville and extending inland.
DAMAGING WINDS with gusts above 90 km/hr are occurring in remaining coastal areas between Cooktown and Proserpine, and are forecast to extend through to Mt Isa during the day.
---- 4:18 AM ----
VIDEO: Cyclone Yasi battering Innisfail
---- 4:15 AM ----
Cyclone Yasi downgraded to category four.
---- 3:20 AM ----
High 290km/hr winds being felt in cyclone's path. Reports of sheets of iron being ripped off roofs in Townsville.
---- 1:05 AM ----
Yasi crosses the coast between Innisfail and Cardwell.
---- 12:35 AM ----
The evacuation shelter inside a shopping centre at Cairns has lost power. More than 2500 people are sheltering there.
---- 12:30 AM ----
Reports of roofs being ripped off in Townsville as Yasi get close to crossing the coast at Mission Beach near Innisfail.
"We are waiting anxiously with you ... we hope that you can feel our thoughts. We hope to see you safe and well tomorrow morning." - Anna Bligh
---- 12:25 AM ----
Queensland Police Services is reminding all people in cyclone affected areas not to venture outside for any reason and stay indoors.