'Pray for us' says priest as QLD reels from Cyclone Yasi


Cyclone Yasi News Story
Cyclone Yasi bears down on Queensland.
From Catholic Communications Sydney

More destructive, more powerful and more terrifying than Cyclone Tracy or Cyclone Larry, Cyclone Yasi has pummelled the North Queensland Coast. But as day broke on Thursday morning, residents in Airlie Beach, Tully, Innisfail, Mission Beach, Cairns, Townsville and Mackay breathed a tentative sign of relief that their long night of terror was almost over.

So far there have been no reports of death from the catastrophic cyclone which packed the same massive punch as Hurricane Katrina that killed more than 1000 and devastated New Orleans in 2005.

As thousands rushed to evacuation centres set up throughout Northern Queensland, Father Karel Duivenvoorden, parish priest in Innisfail, urged Australians to "pray for us."

"The beach front and low lying areas of Innisfail have already been evacuated," Fr Karel said, adding that evacuations has also taken place in the CBD and low lying areas of Cairns as well as in all the other towns at risk from Cyclone Yasi's fury.

Some families fled Northern Queensland completely, catching flights out on Tuesday before all airports in the area were closed Wednesday. Others moved in with relatives and friends or sought shelter of evacuation centres set up by the Red Cross and SES. Still others headed away from the threatened coastline and drove to the Atherton Tablelands.

"Those left in Innisfail and Cairns and threatened areas from Tully to Mackay used the final daylight hours to batten everything down and do as much as they could to safeguard their homes, business and crops," Fr Karel said.

Read full report at Catholic Communications Sydney


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