19/11/12 Media release19/11/12 Media release

19/11/12 Media release


Monday 19 November 2012

Storm surge crashes onto the coast of Townsville

In the lead up to storm season Green Cross Australia, in partnership with CSIRO, have released a visualization of a storm surge caused by a hypothetical cyclone hitting the coast of Townsville, in an effort to raise awareness of the potentially devastating effects of storm surges, and the importance of preparing for natural disasters.

Hosted on Green Cross Australia's disaster resilience website, www.hardenup.org, the video demonstrates how a storm surge created by a cyclone like Yasi might affect a coastal city. CSIRO researchers have created a model using the North Queensland city of Townsville that shows how quickly water can move and how soon it reaches low lying homes and businesses. 

'As the world watched the storm surge created by Cyclone Sandy crash onto the US East Coast and cause mass destruction, it is a timely reminder that this is an important hazard we need to prepare for. 85% of Australians live within 50 km of the coast, so it certainly is something we should be aware of.' Mara Bún, Green Cross Australia CEO explains.

'It is our aim that by understanding the severity of the risk, viewers will be inspired to take action to prepare their homes, families and communities.'

The video also includes advice on how to prepare for severe weather from leaders in the field, including the Director at Cyclone Testing Station at James Cook University, David Henderson, former Executive Director of Queensland Red Cross, Greg Goebel, Volunteering Queensland CEO, Jelenko Dragisic, and Green Cross Australia CEO Mara Bún.

The 'Harden Up - Protecting Queensland' website serves up 150 years of severe weather across Queensland at a suburb level, and encourages people to self assess the weather hazards they are exposed to and then prepare for them using an interactive planning tool.

In Townsville there have been 53 major cyclones since the 1850s, the website hosts case studies for three of the bigger ones: TC Yasi in 2011, TC Winifred in 1986 and TC Althea in 1971.

To view the video visit /be-aware/weather-events/storm-surge-simulation.aspx



For more information please contact:

Lisa Wilhelmseder, Head of Programs - Green Cross Australia

07 3003 0644    lisa@greencrossaustralia.org