Winds of up to 185 mph were clocked when the eye of Category 4 Cyclone Yasi made landfall between Cairns and Townsville early Thursday morning.
Even though hundreds of houses were wrecked, the magnitude of the destruction from Cyclone Yasi was limited due to the region’s sparse population.
Still, several homes were blown off their foundations with families huddling inside. Verna Kohn hunkered down with her husband, daughter and two granddaughters in her home in Tully as Cyclone Yasi’s high winds tore the roof and siding off the building.
The Australian Associated Press reports they fled to a small downstairs room and spent the night sitting in a tight cluster on a bed of pillows and listening to the radio, praying the house would hold up.
The storm struck as Queensland was still recovering from vast flooding that swamped vast areas last month.
Yasi is said to have wiped out three-quarters of far northern Queensland’s banana crop in the major growing regions of Tully and Innisfail.
Cyclone Yasi Track
Satellite Loop Data: CIMSS