Cyclone Ita compared to Tracy, Larry and Yasi
Updated 1 hour 7 minutes ago
As category-five Cyclone Ita heads toward the coast of far north Queensland, take a look at how it compares to other cyclones which have devastated parts of Australia.
Cyclone Larry made landfall in the Innisfail area in far north Queensland on March 20, 2006.
The 100-kilometre-wide, category-four storm brought winds of up to 240 kilometres per hour.
Larry brought storm surges of 2.3 metres in Clump Point, 1.76m in Cardwell and 1.34m in Mourilyan.
The highest inundation recorded was 4.9m above expected the tide at Bingil Bay.
The highest rainfall recorded was 436mm at Gereta Station, while Johnstone River catchment recorded 273mm, Babinda recorded 230mm and Innisfail recorded 289mm two days after landfall.
Nobody died but the storm left a $1.5 billion damage bill in Innisfail and the surrounding areas, and caused severe damage to crops.
Cyclone Tracy was a category-four storm when it hit Darwin on from Christmas Eve to Christmas Day in 1974.
The 50-kilometre-wide cyclone brought massive winds, with gusts of 217km/h recorded before the airport’s anemometer was destroyed.
Tracy brought storm surges of 1.6m at Darwin Wharf and 4m at Casuarina Beach, while the city recorded 280mm of rain in 24 hours.
Seventy-one people were killed, and 90 per cent of homes in the city were damaged or destroyed by the cyclone, which left a repair bill of over $800 million in its wake.
Cyclone Yasi was one of the more intense cyclones in Australia’s recent history.
It smashed into the Queensland coast on February 3, 2011, making landfall near Mission Beach, south of Innisfail.
The category-five system was 600km wide, and brought huge winds of up to 285km/h and a 5m storm surge at Cardwell.
The towns of Tully, Mission Beach, Cardwell, Silkwood and Innisfail bore the brunt of the storm, with buildings destroyed and trees shredded.
The storm left an $800 million damage bill in the region, and also resulted in the death of a man who died of suffocation by generator exhaust fumes.
Cyclone Ita is predicted to make landfall between somewhere Cape Melville and Cooktown in far north Queensland late this afternoon or tonight.
The Bureau of Meteorology says the system, which has already wreaked havoc in Solomon Islands, is approximately 500km wide as of 9:00am today.
It has destructive winds of up to 300 kilometres per hour near the core, and gales extending out to 200km from the centre.
The weather bureau has warned wind gusts in excess of 125km/h could develop between Cape Melville and Cooktown as Ita nears the coast.
Cyclone Ita is likely to spark dangerous storm tides, damaging waves, rising sea levels and strong currents between Cape Melville and Cape Tribulation, including Cooktown. The sea level is likely to rise well above normal tides with flooding of low-lying areas extending some way inland.
Parts of the coast could receive up to 300 millimetres of rain every six hours for several days after Ita hits.
Cooktown residents have been warned that properties built before 1985 may not be able to withstand Ita’s impact. It is believed one third of dwellings in the town of about 2,400 people could be vulnerable.