Cyclone Yasi Disaster Report

The following cyclone disaster report has been prepared by the Pacific Area Welfare Department to brief leadership.


Cyclone Yasi struck the Queensland coast just south of Cairns at approximately midnight on the 3 February. Yasi was a category 5 cyclone but downgraded to a 4 as it moved inland and is now a tropical low. North Queensland's small coastal communities appear to have borne the brunt of Cyclone Yasi's fury, while the region's major cities of Cairns and Townsville escaped relatively unscathed.

The smaller towns of Tully, Mission Beach and Innisfail have emerged as the worst hit, causing severe damage to homes and businesses. Sugarcane and banana plantations have been destroyed. Ninety percent of Australia's banana and sugarcane crops are produced in the cyclone affected area.

At this stage there are no reports of any serious injuries or fatalities however two people are missing. Flooding is now causing additional problems in some small town areas. One of the main focuses is reconnecting power to affected areas.

Impact on Church members/missionaries and physical facilities:

Brisbane Mission president, President Langeland reports that all missionaries are safe and accounted for. Brother Grinceri had a chance to inspect the Chapel in Cairns in detail on 3rd. He reports: "There does not appear to be any damage to the building or grounds. The surrounding area was hit very hard, probably amongst the worst seen in Cairns' history. The chapel is unlikely to get power back for some time as the overhead lines were badly damaged in the immediate area."

Current Church efforts in progress for members:

There have been no church member casualties.

Current Church humanitarian efforts in progress:

Elder Smibert, local Area Seventy has requested that a conference call with leaders, service centre and Area Welfare staff be conducted next Monday to receive assessment and needs reports. Priesthood leaders have not yet requested support from the Church for humanitarian assistance.

Current Efforts by the Government:

500 additional State Emergency Services personnel, 850 Ergon electrical services staff, 150 additional police and the military are being deployed to assist with utilities connection, victim assistance and clean up operations. A ship has arrived in Townsville providing 2,500 tons of food and supplies.


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