More Darwin For Mairead

More sightseeing, including a trip to the Museum and Art Gallery to see the Darwin Cyclone Tracy exhibit. Cyclone Tracy was a tropical cyclone that devastated the city from 24–26 December 1974. The storm was the second-smallest tropical cyclone on record (in terms of the area it covered).

After 10:00 p.m. on Dec 24 damage became severe, and wind gusts reached 217 Kms per hour (134.84 mph) before instruments failed. Residents of Darwin were celebrating Christmas, and did not immediately acknowledge the emergency, partly because they had been alerted to an earlier cyclone (Selma) that passed west of the city.

Tracy killed 71 people, caused A$837 million in damage (1974 dollars), or approximately A$6.41 billion (2014 dollars), or $4.94 billion 2014 USD. It destroyed more than 70 percent of Darwin’s buildings, including 80 percent of houses. It left more than 25,000 out of the 47,000 inhabitants of the city homeless prior to landfall and required the evacuation of over 30,000 people, of whom many never returned. After the storm passed, the city was rebuilt using more stringent standards “to cyclone code”.

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