tropical cyclone debbie north queensland

1100 words- the event is  Tropical Cyclone Debbie North Queensland

1. A description of the event and its impact (250 words)

a. Category 4 tropical cyclone in North Queensland

b. Formed 23rd March 2017 and made landfall 28th March 2017

c. Winds up to 195km/h with gusts of 260km/h

d. Areas directly affected in NQ include Whitsunday and Hamilton Islands, Mackay and Townsville

e. 63,000 homes without power

f. Flow on effects – flooding of Logan and Albert Rivers

g. 14 fatalities

h. Estimated costs of the disaster exceeded $2.4 billion AUD

2. A critical analysis of the management of the event and how it conformed with best practice principles (500 words)

a. Planning and Preparation

i. Successes

1. Bureau of meteorology constant updates – well informed public – public was well informed of the seriousness of the situation

2. Evacuation orders – mandatory in low lying regions

3. Closure of schools, Cancellation of flights, Closure of ports = successfully avoiding significant issues

4. Pre-eminent deployment of emergency and Energex workers prior to event in preparation for initial response and recovery = good planning as emergency workers important for medical attention and Energex workers to restore power

5. ADF were involved in aeromedical evacuation – able to involve wide range of stakeholders before event actually took place

6. Evacuation centres

ii. Failures

1. Unsafe actions by media staff, should have been avoiding area as told by government departments

2. Some buildings on outlying areas were not cyclone proof and did not comply with current building standards and were completely destroyed – need uniform building code standard for older buildings not just newly constructed buildings

3. BOM did not pre-empt that Cyclone Debbie would travel so far South and had significant impacts on the Logan and Albert rivers flooding and causing significant damage which had not been predicted

4. Significant damage to crops – inevitable but need future management strategies to alleviate the impacts of cyclones on crops in NQ

b. Response and recovery

i. Successes

1. Extensive evacuations prior to Cyclone prevented many unnecessary deaths or injuries – removing people from areas that were proposed to have significant damage reduced the impact on health, morbidity and mortality following the disaster

2. Early deployment of defence force, Energex staff and emergency workers led to a quick response and recovery

ii. Failures

1. Were not prepared for Debbie to track so far South – significant impact on Logan and Albert Rivers – very late evacuation orders and significant damage

2. The response in these areas was particularly slow as difficult to access – many people had to wait for insurance assessments before removing debris and flooded items from homes

3. Very slow recovery for some of the outlying islands and resorts due to their poor building standards that were not able to withstand the cyclone – need more uniform standards to ensure this doesn’t occur in the future

3. Lessons learned (250 words)

a. Bureau of meteorology needs to not have such a narrow focus on needed to look further ahead to after effects of Cyclone Debbie in southern regions which did not expect to be hit as hard as they were

b. Improvements to building standards and ensure that they are enforced

c. Well coordinated responses between emergency services, federal, state and local government and local stakeholders have best responses – being prepared has the best outcomes


4. Summary (150 words)


5. References


Lessons from Cyclone Debbie: How important is preparation? You can use this referent but not limited as you need to include more



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