This is completely unrelated to Saab, but when I saw these images online today, I couldn’t help but post them.
Queensland, the northeastern state in Australia, has already suffered terribly with the floods a few weeks ago. Whilst they were absolutely massive, the worst damage was done in the south-east of the state.
Now the people of northern Queensland are bracing for tropical cyclone Yasi, which is already affecting the coastline but is due to hit with full force at around 11pm this evening (some seven hours away, as I sit here writing this).
And another shot, from NASA (thanks Turbin)
And to help you get a grip on the size of this beast, here’s the full Yasi weather system superimposed over the US, and Asia, and Europe…..
Yasi is a category 5 tropical cyclone and winds are expected to get up to 300km/h at their peak. As I write this, winds are already reported to be up to 125km/h and the peak is still seven hours away.
Weather boffins say that just the eye of Yasi is 35km wide and there should be a calm when the eye is over land that lasts for up to an hour.
In some parts of the Queensland coast, they’re expecting a storm-driven surge of water up to around 7 meters in height.
Cairns hospital was evacuated last night, with around 250 people, including something like 12 or so babies in humidicribs and a number of ICU patients being flown down to Brisbane. A massive effort.
People were advised earlier this afternoon that their window of opportunity for outrunning the cyclone had closed. Their best option was to find an official shelter or hunker down in the smallest room of the house. Cyclone shelters don’t allow people to bring their pets.
Such is the size of the storm that the severely effected areas are expected to stretch from Cairns in the north to Townsville in the south – a 300+km stretch of coastline. Areas either side will feel lesser, but still significant effects and tidal effects could stretch down as far as the Sunshine Coast, another 1200km south of Townsville.
I don’t personally know anyone north of about Noosa, but I hope any top-end Queenslanders tuning in here at SU are going to be OK tonight.