Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Today I felt ill. I had to travel down to Innisfail to teach (110kms/68.5 miles) and the devastation from the Cyclone there is terrible. There are so many houses without roofs, so much vegetation that has been forced into everywhere it should not be, so much damage to property. The people are in good spirits though. The army is there, the emergency crews too, and there is a huge contingent of cheerful volunteer tradesmen. Even one of my students turned up! I am not sure if the other students are safe yet and I could not get hold of a phone and computer to find out their phone numbers and call them.

I did visit my 94yo friend and her 67yo daughter. Their house had most of the windows on one side blown out and they had been flooded inside the house. A ceilng fan from a detached roof two doors down had flown through their water powered (hydraulic?) elevator/lift (my 94yo friend cannot walk and the lift is needed so she can leave the house which is one story up) and mangled it so it is unusable. My friend is trapped in the house till someone comes to carry her downstairs. I am thankful that people know of her plight and are helping as much as they can. While I was there, a crew was chopping up fallen trees, removing trees from the roof and giving opinions on how to fix the lift. No one is really familiar with the things though so no one would actually touch it! They were afraid they would make it worse, I guess.

The sheer size of the devastation is still hard to grasp. It is pretty bad up here where I live but it seems to have trashed the countryside for hundreds of kilometres.

I hope we don't get another Cyclone like that again.

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