Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Katrina lessons help Australians rebuff Larry

News

LESSONS FROM hurricane Katrina helped Australia's emergency services prepare for the impact of powerful tropical cyclone Larry, which struck the country's north east coast on Monday.

Larry was stronger that Katrina when it hit the Queensland town of Innisfail on Monday but all of its 18,000 residents survived.

Power was restored to the area's sewage treatment and water desalination plants by Tuesday morning and the debris clean-up was also under way.

'This was a mixture of planning and luck, ' said a Queensland State Emergency Service spokesman.

'We have been constantly testing our emergency plans through computer models and training exercises. Just two weeks ago our entire team went on a week-long exercise in Cairns, practising for a cyclone and a storm surge.' The spokesman said this rigorous planning had come from observing the slow, disjointed response by US emergency services to Hurricane Katrina in August last year.

An evacuation order for New Orleans was only given 24 hours before the storm hit and the poor provision of emergency supplies in the storm's immediate aftermath led to reforms of the US Government's Federal Emergency Management Agency (NCE 16 February).

nisfail residents were securing their homes up to three days before the storm and potable water, ready-made meals and generators were with them the morning after Larry hit.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.