Wednesday, January 24, 2024
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
As I reflect on Mother Nature's frightening force, my mind drifts back to where I grew up in Renwick, a quaint town perched atop New Zealand's South Island, where the Wairau Fault Line offered a regular reminder of seismic uncertainties. During school days, earthquake drills were almost as routine as morning roll calls, with the ringing bell signalling a well-practiced dive beneath sturdy desks.
My journey to Australia held the promise of seismic serenity, yet North Queensland brought a different kind of meteorological show - an annual dance with cyclones. Unlike the abrupt tremors of earthquakes, cyclones offer polite warnings, however it had me pondering which was worse. An earthquake is over in moments, whereas an approaching cyclone can tie your stomach up in knots for days, trying to anticipate its next move.
In the aftermath of the devastating Christchurch earthquakes, I embarked on a mission to rescue my younger brother who was stranded in the CBD. Dodging crumbling buildings in relentless aftershocks, the urgency of the situation was made more difficult with no cell phone coverage and no way to know exactly where he was. The search led me through the debris-laden streets until, to my relief, I discovered him wandering down a road, clutching his two pet turtles.
Cyclones, unlike social guests, don't bother with RSVPs, and Queenslanders have mastered the stormy tango. It's a dance that demands agility, foresight, and community unity. The regular rituals unfold, from securing loose items to stocking up on essentials, a symphony of collective preparedness.
As I write this, we brace ourselves in readiness, not quite knowing what Kirrily has in store for our region. My hope is that by the time you read this, the cyclone has changed course or lessened in severity. If not, please take the time to prepare your emergency plan. Discover more information on page 6 about how you can prepare.
In the dance with nature's formidable forces, Queenslanders are resilient, showing that, with preparation, collaboration, and a dash of meteorological humour, we can navigate any atmospheric twist.
I wish all of our readers a safe week ahead,