Flinders Street Station, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Sunday, March 4, 2018

CYCLONE TRACY 1974

Continuing My Story

The northern Australian city of Darwin was devastated early on Christmas morning 1974 when hit by the tropical weather depression that was given the name Cyclone Tracy. As the eye of the cyclone passed over the city between midnight and 7am on Christmas morning, torrential rain fell and the winds were officially recorded at 217 kilometres per hour prior to the Bureau of Meteorology anemometer being destroyed. Houses and other buildings disintegrated under the onslaught, accompanied by the sounds of flying debris and breaking glass. Records have identified 66 names of individuals who perished as a result of the cyclone (53 on land and 13 at sea), and many more were injured. Seventy per cent of Darwin’s homes were destroyed or suffered severe damage, and all public services – communications, power, water and sewerage – were severed.
When news finally arrived in the southern cities, many organisations swung into action to help the people of Darwin.   Our local Lions Club, of which Bill was the President, immediately started raising funds by members  standing at red lights on the highway with buckets for drivers to throw in their donations. They raised thousands of dollars and their actions were recorded in the newspaper.
Bill is at the right back.


12 comments:

  1. What a terrible Christmas that must have been ! So it' not always the "global warming" the culprit as it happened years ago too !

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  2. I became aware of the disaster when I arrived in 2004 in Darwin and read the history of the city. I had never heard about it, maybe in 1974 I had other things on my mind and had missed the news.

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  3. what a horrible thing to happen and on Christmas day. and a great way to help the ones in need

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  4. I remember news of the cyclone reaching the UK and the first terrible pictures that were shown on TV - many days later.

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  5. Wow, I cannot imagine such a thing. We are very lucky where we are not to have such events. Scary. B

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  6. I remember when that news hit the world, a terrible day for all who were involved. Take care t'other Diane

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  7. I don't think I was aware of this tragedy. Busy at that time being a working mother of four active tweens/teens --- plus sporadic international news coverage back then where we lived. That wouldn't happen today -- news coverage is almost too good -- and I have more time to care! Good that your city jumped in and helped alleviate the terrible sadness.

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  8. It took a long time for people to realise how bad it was. Our friend who is now in hospital was about to be inducted in the NT police force. He delayed his Melbourne departure to Darwin.

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  9. I remember the news about this cyclone. The devastation was unbelievable.

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  10. It's always sad to see the aftermath caused by such storms, no matter where in the world or when they have taken place.

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  11. What a Christmas present for the citizens of Darwin. Such terrible devastation. It makes me think of the people of Puerto Rico who ar still without electricity so many months after the recent hurricane.

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  12. Wasn't a pleasant Christmas for many up that way that year. So many people donated that year, wonderful Aussie spirit.

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