What is a cyclone?
Cyclones are large revolving storms that are caused by winds blowing around a place of low atmospheric pressure. In the northern hemisphere, these huge storms are called hurricanes or typhoons and their winds blow in an anti-clockwise circle. In the southern hemisphere, these tropical storms are known as cyclones, and always blow in an ant-clockwise circle.
How do cyclones occur?
Cyclones are caused over warm seas near the Equator. Air that is heated by the sun, rises very quickly, which creates areas of very low pressure. As the very warm air rises, it receives moisture, which condenses into huge thunderclouds. Cool air sweeps in to fill the void that is left, but due to the continuous turning of the Earth, the air is bent inwards and then spirals upwards with tremendous force. The swirling winds rotate faster ...view middle of the document...
What happened and when?
Cyclone Yasi made landfall in northern Queensland in the early hours of 3rd February 2011. In Mission Beach, winds were recorded to have reached speeds of 290 km/h (180mph). Yasi left behind significant damage, ‘a scene of mass destruction’, as over half the buildings in Innisfail and Cardwell were damaged, 140, 000 houses were blacked out, drinking water was in short reply and one person was killed of carbon monoxide poisoning. The total cost of repairing damage is expected to exceed AUD$ 5 billion. Over $40 million worth of boats were piled over each other, and in Tully the high school was completely destroyed.
How did the residents prepare?
Whilst the Yasi crossed into Australian basin, preparations for the storm were all ready under way. Due to its colossal size, residents feared that the tropical cyclone would be far more lethal than its brother, Cyclone Larry in 2006. Residents in the cyclones path were urged to evacuate. 30, 000 people were evacuated from Cairns, and several evacuation sites were also set up. Moe than 2, 000 people took shelter in a shopping centre in Earlville, and the Cairns Airport was closed.
Climate change and the future
Many say that natural disasters like Cyclone Yasi will become more frequent, due to climate change. Over the past decade we have seen a huge rise in natural disasters and we have witnessed the awesome power of nature, such as the Boxing Day Tsunami in Asia, the earthquake in Pakistan and hurricane Katrina in the US. The more humans pollute the planet and add to the greenhouse effect, the more natural disasters are expected. It is the law of nature that whatever has been created is eventually destroyed. Destruction comes in many forms, and natural disasters, like Cyclone Yasi, just happen to be one of them… …