Cyclone Larry Strikes Queensland
Tropical Cyclone Larry struck the coast of Australia on Monday, March 20, 2006, destroying hundreds of homes and leaving thousands without power or water.
In addition, over a thousand persons had to be evacuated from their homes in advance of the storm. Larry was a Category 5 cyclone, with sustained winds of greater than 136 knots or 156 miles per hour (1 knot = 1.15 mile per hour) but quickly weakened to a Category 1 storm (64-82 knots or 74-95 miles per hour) after reaching landfall.
At its peak, the storm reached 157 knots or 180 miles per hour. Larry also wiped out agricultural lands in northern part of the Queensland province, an area abundant with banana plantations and sugar cane fields.
Cleanup costs have been estimated in the tens of millions of Australian dollars (10,000,000 Australian Dollars is approximately equal to 7.3 million U.S. Dollars). According to news reports, crops are typically insured against fire or hail damage, but the destruction caused by winds is not covered, meaning that the agricultural industry might not be able to recoup its terrible losses.