Territory Stories

The Northern Territory news Wed 2 Feb 2011



The Northern Territory news Wed 2 Feb 2011

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NT news


The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT




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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin

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Nationwide News Pty. Limited

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Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

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Nationwide News Pty. Limited



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4 NT NEWS. Wednesday, February 2, 2011. www.ntnews.com.au P U B : N T N E W S D A T E : 2 -F E B -2 0 1 1 P A G E : 4 C O L O R : C M Y K NEWS l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l ntnews.com.au Monster cyclone on YACHTSRELOCATED YACHTS worth an estimated $100 million have been relocated to a makeshift marina in a Port Douglas creek before the arrival of Cyclone Yasi and expected huge storm surges. Port Douglas Daintree Tourism Association spokesman Doug Ryan said yachts and commercial reef boats were being moved into Dicksons Inlet about 4km inland. There are 150 boats up in the mangroves. SCHOOLS CLOSED ABOUT 300 schools in Queenslands far north, north and central regions will be closed from today as tropical cyclone Yasi approaches. Education and Training Minister Geoff Wilson said the safety of students and school staff was the top priority. At this stage schools in the far north Queensland region will be closed fromWednesday until Friday, he said. Schools in the north Queensland and central regions will be closed for at least (Wednesday). OUTHOUSE SHELTER A BRICK outhouse will be the panic room for about 100 people holed up in a Cairns caravan park as Cyclone Yasi bears down on the city. Sunland Leisure Park spokesman George Piggott says campers have left the property, but about 100 people had chosen to stay with the caravans to await the tempest. We have an amenities block and when, and if, anything happens we will get people into there. Its solid brick and it will take a hell of a lot to knock that down, Mr Piggott said. FLIGHTSGROUNDED ONE airline has ceased operating out of Cairns, while the airport will close today because of the cyclone. Qantaslink has ceased operating flights, while Qantas and Continentals last flights out of the north Queensland city were last night. WILDLIFE SUPPLIES WHILE most far-north Queenslanders are buying baked beans ahead of monster cyclone Yasi, Harry Kunz is stocking up on rats and mice. The unusual emergency supplies are for the 186 animals and birds at his Eagles Nest Wildlife Sanctuary. Mr Kunz cares for whats believed to be the worlds first-known albino blue wing kookaburra siblings, found in bushland late last year. He said he had been busy battening down the aviaries and enclosures. Storm surge the big threat, warns Mayor CAIRNS Mayor Val Schier says a surge of water being pushed towards the coast by Cyclone Yasis destructive winds poses more danger than the cyclone itself. If Yasi makes landfall about 9pm tonight the storm surge will coincide with high tide, belting waterfront suburbs with a rapid inundation of sea water about 4.4m high. The weather bureau expects heavy rainfall to add to the threat of flash flooding as drains struggle to cope with the huge flow of water. Ms Schier said about 29,000 residents in low lying areas were asked to evacuate yesterday, but the number of affected people will rise if Yasi arrives at high tide. The area affected by the storm surge has now broadened to other streets in those areas . . . more houses will be impacted, she said. The most danger that can be caused to people is from a storm surge. Areas close to the shoreline will be affected by the surge for about five hours before flooding recedes. Police and SES crews will doorknock in the evacuation zones today to ensure residents have moved to safety. Cairns police assistant commissioner Katarina Carroll echoed the warnings: The winds are very concerning but the storm surge is of particular concern. Thats when issues arise. Thats when you get fatalities, she said. Territory chopper pilot braces for more destruction A TERRITORY helicopter pilot is bracing for Cyclone Yasi to hit after spending weeks in Queensland helping flood victims. Philip ODriscoll, of Humpty Doo, only spent five days in the NT after the flood disaster before he returned to the Sunshine State to offer his help once again. The pilot was the first to reach people in Ipswich at daylight after the floods hit early last month. He said he transported sandbags, food, people and bodybags to needed regions all day long. The whole day just went to shit, he said. It was such a big disaster that it was hard to coordinate. Mr ODriscoll said he remembered delivering food to a gymnasium where people were lying on the floor helplessly. One guy was just in shock, he said. He couldnt understand why we didnt bring any sandbags out his house was already under water. But Mr ODriscoll said the work was rewarding and he didnt hesitate when asked to return to Queensland. It was really nice seeing people walking through the water with a smile on their faces and just thanking us for the help, he said. Mr ODriscoll bought the NTs largest helicopter, which can lift 1500kg, in November last year. A helicopter crash in the Canadian wilderness in August, 2005, left him badly burned. He plummeted into a cliff face when the helicopters engine suddenly failed. He tumbled down the cliff to avoid crushing people. Top End braces for Yasis heavy rains By DAVID WOOD THE PEAK destructive force of Cyclone Yasi will be felt in the Queensland tropics but the Northern Territory will likely be hit by large rainfall. Category 4 Cyclone Yasi is predicted to be one of the most dangerous cyclones to approach the Queensland coast in decades. Weather Channel Meteorologist Tom Saunders said Yasi was likely to bring destructive winds, heavy rain and flooding and a dan gerous storm surge. Forecasters said communities between Cooktown and Townsville were most at risk of a direct hit from Yasi, expected to cross the coast some time late today or early tomorrow morning as a severe Category 4 storm with winds of up to 280km/h. Premier Anna Bligh, who met the state disaster management group yesterday morning, said the storm would be worse than Cyclone Larry, which damaged 10,000 homes and caused $1.5 billion in damage around Innisfail in 2006. That was a mid-level Category 4 system. While it was a day away, the Weather Channel said Yasi could potentially keep its cyclone status as it moved across Queensland although it would weaken and cross into the NT at the weekend. There could be strong winds and rainfall of about 100mm everywhere across the Territory except the far Top End, with Yasi dragging moisture from the Coral Sea. This will be coupled with a low trough over Victoria and South Australia which should move north into the Territory and then back down again in the southern states. In 2006, what would become a Category 5 Cyclone Monica hit the coast about 10km from Maningrida, after it had crossed Cape York, in far north Queensland, where it was a Category 2 cyclone. While some cyclones have erratic paths and are difficult to predict, Yasi has little chance of changing direction, Mr Saunders said. Unfortunately for Queensland its a guaranteed direct hit on Australias most populated stretch of tropical coastline. Its a larger system than Larry with gales and heavy rain extending hundreds of kilometres from the eye. The heaviest rain will fall directly south of the eye. A Weather Bureau map showing the predicted track map for Cyclone Yasi and patients wait to be evacuated from Cairns Base Hospital. Picture: JAKE NOWAKOWSKI