There are tens of thousands of people who will reflect today on something they have in common – cyclone Larry.
Larry came howling in from the Coral Sea early on Monday March 20, 2006 – ten years ago today. Winds up to 290 kilometres per hour cut a trail of destruction across far north Queensland.
Some 50 thousand people directly in its paths endured a terrifying ordeal, while another 100 thousand in surrounding areas spent an anxious day or two waiting for news of relatives, friends and colleagues.
And then there were the people who responded from other regions – emergency crews, the Defence Force, government workers, NGOs, tradies, community organisations, the electricity crews, building and agriculture sector groups. They helped us rebuild, recover, and get going again.
So many people were affected by cyclone Larry and its aftermath. Each of them has a unique and important story to tell. There is much to learn in these stories – about courage, resilience, the way we prepare for and recover from disasters, and about what people can achieve when they work together.
In 2007, radio ace Suzanne Gibson and I made a documentary series called REMEMBERING LARRY. It’s the story of a category four cyclone, its aftermath, and how we got back on our feet. It’s a remarkable insight into life in the tropics, told by the people who live here, who lived through Larry. The theme music is a song called “Hey Rain” written by Bill Scott, performed by Penny Davis and Roger Ilot.
Click on the audio player to hear each episode in MP3 audio.
And read my recollections of being on air at ABC Far North during the cyclone here
EPISODE 1 There’s Something Brewing Over the Coral Sea
EPISODE 2 We’ve Had A Bit Of A Blow
EPISODE 3 Where The Hell Do You Start
EPISODE 4 And It Won’t Be Like This Tomorrow
EPISODE 5 Remembering Larry