Wednesday, January 24, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

The Disaster Double Of 1918

Just over a century ago, two devastating cyclones etched their mark on north Queensland, a sobering reminder to be prepared for what mother nature can produce.

In the summer of 1918, the Mackay Cyclone, a Category 4, unleashed its fury on January 21, leaving Mackay and its surroundings in ruins. With violent winds and a 3.6-meter storm surge, reports of waves breaking in the town's main street mirrored the destructive force. The aftermath witnessed widespread damage, with 1300 out of 1400 houses in Mackay destroyed or severely affected, and a tragic toll of thirty lives lost.

Less than two months later, on March 10, a more formidable category 5 cyclone struck Innisfail. Such was the devastation, that only 12 buildings are reported to have remained standing after the cyclone. In the nearby settlements of Mission Beach and Bingil Bay every single structure was destroyed and massive storm surges and a tidal wave were reported.

Beirne Mackay Limited hangs its manchester supplies out to dry, and the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney does likewise with the carpets, after the cyclone

Damage and debris in River Street, Mackay

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