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Thursday 30 March 2006

Windy updates

Posted by kim @ 8:37pm

I found a few more articles this week about Larry that may be of interest to some:

Beattie fears cyclone's power (.pdf)
Towns to be evacuated (.pdf)
Crops wiped out in cyclone (.pdf)
Thirty injured in Larry's wake (.pdf)
Cyclone devastation prompts disease fears (.pdf)
PM unveils Larry aid package (.pdf) <- this is lame. $10k won't even replace a tractor let alone all the other equipement, crops and lack of income until the crops recover.
45,000 still without power in north Qld (.pdf)
PM to assess cyclone devastation (.pdf)
Power restored to cyclone-hit areas (.pdf)
Cyclone relief teams' disaster powers extended (.pdf)
Power restored to cyclone-hit areas (.pdf)

And here is what Glenda has been up to:

Glenda upgraded to category 5 (.pdf)
Weaker Glenda tracks WA coastline (.pdf)
Homes evacuated as Cyclone Glenda moves down WA coast (.pdf)
Pilbara braces for Glenda's arrival (.pdf)
Glenda's winds hit WA coast (.pdf)
Cyclone Glenda makes landfall (.pdf)

The images this morning:

Tonight's:

And because I think this entry is long enough for now, I shall leave the rest (Dad's photos) for another day.

Tuesday 28 March 2006

Glenda

Posted by kim @ 7:41pm

Tropical Cyclone Floyd may have deminished and gone into the west (sounds like a line from Lord of the Rings, doesn't it? :P), but now Glenda has moved in behind him. She's a Category 4 so far, and as she isn't near any highly populated places, the media doesn't seem to care much. But she's the 4th high-category cyclone to appear in the past 2 weeks ...

Saturday 26 March 2006

News this week

Posted by kim @ 9:35pm

Here are but a few of the articles that appeared this week, and most of these are just from Monday:

North Qld residents reel from 'shocker' storm (.pdf)
Second cyclone forms behind Larry (.pdf)
Damage widespread as cyclone moves inland (.pdf)
Authorities assess massive cyclone damage (.pdf)
Huge task facing emergency services in Qld (.pdf)
Innisfail devastated (.pdf)

And finally on Thursday, we had mention of the places other than Innisfail and Mission Beach:

Street that won't say die (.pdf)

There are of course stacks more articles both on the net, in the papers and on the television, but a lot of them just repeat what has already been said before, so these ones will do.

Here are the Infrared Satelite and Threat Tracking Images of the movement:

Larry crossing the coast at 6:00am Monday:

Later Monday, moving inland:

Larry as an ex-cyclone/rain depression (the bunch of cloud under the Gulf of Carpentaria):

In that last one you can also see Cyclone Wati coming in from the east and Cyclone Floyd sitting off the west coast. Both Floyd and Wati didn't come close enough to the coast, thankfully, to cause any damage, well, anything more then a few good waves for the surfers :P and have long degraded to rain depressions and moved off.

So thats it. The north is still trying to pick up the pieces and will probably be doing so for a long time yet.

My dad, who drives a piloting vehicle for wide/heavy loads (oversized semitrailer trucks) didn't make it home from his last job - he was supposed to arrive early Monday morning but, as one of the few 4WD piloting vehicles, he was called back to lead a convoy of trucks heading north to take industrial-sized generators up to Innisfail. Once they got to Townsville they had to head inland over and along the various Ranges because every river system north of Ingham was flooded and they couldn't get through. So what would normally be a 2hr trip from Townsville to Innisfail, took them 19hrs. He took some pretty awesome pictures when he got there. I'll have to get a few off him to post in here just to try to illustrate the terrifying force of the winds that were exprerienced.

Monday 20 March 2006

Havoc struck

Posted by kim @ 7:22am

35yrs since Qld had a Category 4. This is a category 5 and challenging tracey's record as the worst to hit the north. Here are the reports:

Cyclonic winds, rain lash far north coast (.pdf)
Far north Qld braces for massive Cyclone frontage (.pdf)

Sunday 19 March 2006

Larry

Posted by kim @ 9:03pm

Weather Report time again. This time the focus is homeward bound. Literally. Well, at the area where my bf and I grew up, Far North Queensland. Thankfully, bf's parents moved from the area a few years ago, and so did my parents just over a year ago, but all of us still have a lot of friends living there, and we're all worried for them.

Here is the Infrared Sat. Image and the Threat Tracking Image for Tropical Cyclone Larry:

And here is what ABC has to say about it:

Cyclone Larry building to category 5 off far north Qld coast

Tropical Cyclone Larry swirling off far north Queensland is expected to further intensify to a category 5 cyclone before crossing the coast early tomorrow morning, with wind gusts predicted of more than 200 kilometres an hour.

Queensland tropical cyclone warning centre spokesman Bruce Gunn says people should treat warnings very seriously.

"This is the worst cyclone we have had for many, many years," he said.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) says the cyclone poses a very serious threat to life and property and will now post hourly warnings on its website.

It says the "very destructive core" of severe tropical Cyclone Larry with extreme gusts up to 280 kilometres an hour should cross the coast between Innisfail and Mission Beach between 7am and 9am AEDT on Monday.

Destructive winds are expected to commence along the coast between Ingham and Port Douglas earlier on Monday morning, with gales already being experienced along the exposed coast in the warning area.

Queensland Premier Peter Beattie has officially declared a disaster situation, allowing authorities the legal power to forcibly remove any reluctant evacuees.

Mr Beattie says authorities are also worried about hospitals and other buildings in the cyclone's path

"We're testing whether buildings will actually cope with a category 4 cyclone - quite a lot of buildings won't and we need to make sure we have moved patients out of some of the hospitals," he said...

Major airlines cancelled all flights into Cairns and are expected to review the future of flights at midday AEST tomorrow.

Beachfront areas between Cairns and Ingham have been evacuated with shelters set up in inland towns.

The worst that we had experienced in the 10+yrs that we had lived there was a couple of Category 2s, all of which just sideswiped us on their way down the coast; raining torrents, flooding all the low-lying areas, rattling the windows, topling trees, blowing heaps of debris around, but that was about it; no roofs lifted, buildings distroyed or lives lost. With Category 3 Cyclone Winifred in 1986 (before we lived there, and noted as the worst cyclone to hit in living memory, mostly because it was a direct hit to my hometown), where there was once rainforests, the hills were covered in forests of vertical sticks - ie trees with no leaves - and the upper floor of the pub was removed and hurled down the main street, many homes were destroyed or damaged, crops and even 3 lives were lost.

Winifred was a Category 3. I don't want to think what a Category 5 will do.

Sunday 12 March 2006

Observations

Posted by kim @ 7:34am

For all those out there who know me, they'll know this: I love animals. All kinds, big and small, the cute-and-furry (like cats, dogs, horses, mice) and the not so cute-and-furry (like fish, insects, snakes and lizards). And like any pet-owner (I hope) I make a lot of time when I first get a new pet to find out what its personality, dislikes and likes are. So over the past few weeks I've been slowly trialing different things with my mice to see what they think. So far I've tried a few different fruits and vegetables, like grape, brocholi, cauliflower, carrot and apple, which were all tasted but thats about it, and as many different grain-based foods as I could find: rolled oats, Cornflakes, Wheatbix, and All Bran, all of which have been huge hits, as you might expect. They also seem to like the dry cat food, that I've given them from the start, and Small Parrot Seed that I started giving them two weeks ago. So now their everyday meal consists of a mix of conventional mouse food (a mix of grains like wheat, sorghum, oats, safflower and sunflower seeds, plus chaff and lucerne pellets), a few bits of cat food, a teaspoon of parrot seed, and a large pinch of two of the cereals that I mentioned before.

I've also been trying a few different bedding materials with them, because as it starts cooling down they'll want to be nice and cosy in their little house. So far paper kitchen towel has been more of a hit than toilet paper, I presume because its thicker and softer ... This weeks trial material is grass, fresh-cut. So far they seem to like it. A few days ago, I picked a few seedheads on my way home from work and added them to their evening food dish. They seemed to go down a treat. On Friday I also grabbed a few blades of grass, along with a few seedheads, to see if they'd eat that: not so tasty it would seem, although they did eat a little of it they seemed to like it more as a bedding material. So last night I grabbed a handful and left it on their landing (the level above their house, where I usually put their food dish). I soon realised that I might have gotten a bit much, as the handful of grass that I'd collected immediately expanded to cover most of the landing as soon as I let go of it, but I thought 'oh well, if they don't like it, I'll take it out again tomorrow when I clean their cage'. But when I went out there this morning it was gone, every single blade had been taken down into their house. But seeing as I needed to clean their cage most of it got removed again anyway and I've just put a fresh bunch in there. This time however, I chose two different types of grass to see which one they liked better: a broad-leafed one, probably a cooch of some kind, and a thin-leafed one. They seem to like the thin-leafed one for eating, munching away on the stalks mostly, and leaving the broad-leafed one for use as a bedding material. I presume that this is because as grass dries it shrinks and a broad-leafed grass is going to afford a lot more bedding material then a thin-leafed one.

... jeez, I really am a scientist at heart, aren't I, making observations like that. But I do love my animals, and as pets they rely on me to supply everything they might need, and as a pet-owner I take that responsibility very seriously.

And besides, I find it just plain interesting to watch how they deal with new things, to see what they like or don't like, and to try to figure out why that might be so.

:)

Saturday 11 March 2006

Hubble

Posted by kim @ 1:52pm

I just found the coolest website! If you're an astronomy nut like me, you'll just love the pics on this site. Here's three of my favs, the Cone Nebula NGC 2264, the Whirlpool Galaxy M51, and the Eagle Nebula M16:

Absolutely magnificent.

Thursday 9 March 2006

A quick movie review

Posted by kim @ 11:41am

I went to see Keeping Mum with my Mum and Nan last weekend and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Staring Dame Maggie Smith, Rowan Atkinson, Kristin Scott Thomas and Patrick Swayze it made for a fantastic performance and we found ourselves laughing so much we were brought to tears at many points. It was Great! In fact, I think I might go see it again this weekend :)

Update, 4:02pm same day: just looked up the session times for Keeping Mum on the weekend ... there aren't any; its *already* off the big screen : / Well I will *definately* be getting the DVD when it comes out :)