Down Under we call them Tropical Cyclones, In Asia we call them Typhoons and correct me if I am wrong but in the Americas they call them Hurricanes. Apparently these 3 terms refer to the same weather pattern. Very simply put they are created over the ocean when warm water evaporates and rises. cooler air is warmed, clouds form and begin to rotate. this causes the winds. when a critical speed is reached a Hurricane is born. Hurricanes bring destructive powerful winds and heavy rainfall. They are their most destructive when they make landfall. A major part of the damage is caused by flooding and wave surges along the coasts.
Cyclone Tasha hit Cairns Australia In Christmas Eve 2010 and cause considerable damage. Although the Cyclone had passed it’s effects were still catastrophic some 2 weeks later down the Queensland Coast. This is when the January 2011 Queensland floods occurred. The heavy rainfall meant the water catchment areas were incredibly full and in a drought prone country water is collected and saved. However in this case nature together with poor mankind judgement meant there was a major disaster in the making. Some people said the damage down stream may have been less and more controllable had the powers that be done a controlled release of water from the dams in the water catchment areas sooner than they did.
Flash flooding in Toowoomba and Lockyer Valley sent a surge of water down the valley, TV footage showed the likes of an inland Tsunami. 35 lives were lost during these floods and 31 of them were in the Toowoomba and Lockyer Valley. This small rural are was devasted and left reeling.
Brisbane suffered a major flood with the Brisbane river flooding its banks, the last time being in 1974 .I was there in 2011. It was my first stop after leaving NZ on my year world trip. I visited good friends. In previous years the challenge has been to keep the swimming pool full as the water evaporated so fast. This year the pool was overflowing and their backyard was water logged, the rainfall was so high. On my last night from my hotel room I could see the river rising. My friend who had come over to see me off and have a few days shopping and time in the sun was sadly disappointed as the whole city centre was sandbagged closed down and evacuated! The metro out to the airport was closed and the streets quiet.Getting out to the airport was a major challenge. I finally managed to get a taxi with two other travelers.
I left Brisbane bound for bluer skies and sunnier days but I felt for those left dealing with the aftermath of a very destructive and powerful cyclone.
In response to the OWPC Hurricane
Yoroshiku Onegai shimasu