12-20-05 - 2:30 a.m. DREAM
I was given this warning to post on my main page on my website:
HOW AUSTRALIA GOES - THE REST
OF THE WORLD SHALL GO!!!
I went to work on my computer and someone else was in process of
rebooting it so I could work on it right away.
I looked out the window and saw my husband standing on top of a
blackened tree stump on the side of the hill we lived on. It
seemed like the whole earth was vibrating.
I yelled out the window to him, "Is it shifting?"
He hesitated before answering, like he was listening for
something, then answered, "No! I don't think so."
I said, "It seemed like it was vibrating yesterday."
He continued standing on the tree stump and listening intently to
anything that he might hear.
I called all the children in for safekeeping. One of the older
girls came running in, saying that she was 'very' afraid.
I told her not to worry, that everything would be okay, but
inwardly, my biggest fear was that the earth beneath our feet was going
to open up and we were all going to fall into the 'middle earth' beneath
In the children's room, a little Mexican boy was trying to listen
to my 'world' radio (it has 7 bands on it) It was all static.
I told him not to listen to the static because the frequencies
were off, but he wouldn't stop listening, so I finally unplugged it and
took it away from him and hid the radio from the children.
I then had to go to the bank where a huge robbery was going on and
alert everyone that it was taking place.
This bank was in a huge underground vault-like place.
The robbery was already taking place, but not everyone there knew
The robbers had their own guards standing around, dressed in sky
blue long sleeved shirts with jeans.
I too dressed like them so I could pass through the gauntlet of
I held a yellow colored check prominently out in front of me, and
striding fast. I walked past one guard after another, along the side
aisles of this underground bank.
I overheard one guard say to another, "Is that Mythisis?"
and another one said, "No! That's not Isis."
I made it all the way down to the other end of the cavernous room
where I saw Bo - the police chief from 'One Life to Live' TV Show. He
was standing there, tending a small flock of sheep.
He walked up to greet me and said, "Hi Dolores! "
Now I knew that everything was going to be okay!
> In the children's room, a little Mexican boy was trying
to listen to my 'world' radio (it has 7 bands on it) It was all
The following was taught to me by a Lakota/Cherokee Mix . .. so the
words in Indian are of both origins ..the reason I'm sending this in
connection to your dream is ... the story explains that we need to keep
our 7 directions and by doing this or not doing this we have
a direct effect upon the weather .... I feel your dream and this story
have a connection
In Loving Spirit
A Story of Etsi Elohino's Belt Skan (Great Spirit) created two belts in
the galvloi (sky) which surround the Elohino (earth) at the areas known
today as the tropics. The way the life of these belts is maintained is
by several means.
Soqua (One) is the agas adohi (rain forest)s.
Another is the establishment and maintenance of our own 7 Directions.
Another way the belts are maintained is by the entities in the Wakan
Tanka organization working together which are the resulting:
tornadoes (Wakinyan battling the Unktehi/Unkcegi monsters on the
blizzards (Waziah coming from the North),
hurricanes (the Unktehi/Unkcegi monsters battling on the water),
floods (Maka and Unk)
and erupting volcanoes (Inyan ale Maka).
Each of these ways are connected to each other.
If we all begin to establish and maintain our 7 Directions, the weather
patterns calm down and the belts regain their livelihood, as well.
So when we witness a storm, we are witnessing the Wakan Tanka entities
at work maintaining the balance of nature, which is contentment.
Wakinyan has instructed us to atsila atsina(burn cedar) during the
thunderstorms, as Wakinyan's lodge is in the west and is made of atsina
(cedar), and atsina (cedar) is also cleansing.
Hence, when Wakinyan flies over our houses, he will view favorably the
houses which atsila (burn) the cleansing atsina (cedar) and he will
leave our homes alone as he continues on in his cleansing journey to
that which does require his cleansing.
Everything has a frequency, and all life on Elohino forms a global
frequency. Everything inside of us is connected to each other just as we
are connected to everything around us.
So when we do not strive to establish and maintain our 7 Directions, we
also cause storms to begin within us leading us to death and our
frequencies become weak and dis-eased and filled with static.
This then weakens the global frequency of contentment.
The Hurt of One, is the Hurt of All.
Hence, how we strive for contentment within ourselves decides how nature
will react accordingly.
For example, the actions of the western civilization and its
accompanying progress is causing these belts to weaken.
One result of this is the deserts.
Should we as a global society become entirely addictive and dualistic,
the Wakan Tanka entities will restore the balance of Nature by assisting
the Etsi Elohino in cleansing herself.
Thus, we affect the weather.
Submitted by Michelle
If you were thinking unusual weather has been occurring in your
A series of record breaking weather has hit just about every continent
Australia's Largest City Tightens Water Restrictions As Drought Bites
Sydney (AFP) May 31, 2005
Australia's largest city, Sydney, announced unprecedented water
Tuesday as the country's worst drought on record left dam levels at
than 40 percent. http://www.terradaily.com/news/water-earth-05d.html
CANBERRA, May 20 (Reuters) - Donning a trademark Australian hat and
elastic-sided boots, Prime Minister John Howard toured the country's
drought-stricken areas on Friday to lend an ear to farmers struggling
against one of the worst droughts in a century. With dams dried up,
turned to dust and cattle and sheep starving, Howard travelled up to
(500 miles) west of Sydney to the towns of Wentworth, West Wyalong and
Cargelligo ahead of a cabinet meeting on Monday to discuss further
Riots in Australia Spur Introspection
Ethnic Tensions Seen as Linked to War on Terror
By Anthony Faiola
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, December 20, 2005;
CRONULLA, Australia, Dec. 19, 2005 -- Across Tom Ugly's Bridge just
south of Sydney, this sleepy beach suburb once conjured the
good-natured images of Australia's laid-back surf culture with
strapping, straw-haired lifeguards and locals heading to the shore
in their pick-up trucks for a cold lager with their mates.
That no-worries image went up in a blaze of hate last week when
an angry crowd of 5,000 Anglo Australians staged vicious mob attacks
on dark-skinned beachgoers and on people they believed to be
After the incident, Lebanese Australian street gangs staged
reprisals, rampaging across Sydney's largely white southern suburbs
with guns, bats and iron bars. The incidents have amounted to the
worst outbreak of ethnic violence here since Australia became a
federated nation in 1901. In recent days, Cronulla Beach, a suburb,
stood largely deserted as 2,000 police officers locked it down with
checkpoints to prevent further attacks.
Over the weekend, police arrested more than 59 people, including
alleged white supremacists and Lebanese Australian gang members
carrying homemade bombs, iron-spiked bats, swords and axes.
Officials said the blockade of troubled beach areas could continue
Yet the violence and lingering tensions in Sydney, Australia's
largest metropolis, have sparked an extraordinary level of
soul-searching across this island country about race, religion, and
cultural and national identity. Perhaps most striking is that
community leaders and sociologists are viewing the riots, at least
in part, as a local manifestation of the broader ethnic troubles
linked to the global fight against terrorism.
Anti-Muslim feelings, community leaders say, have been rising for
the past several years in Sydney, with its picturesque harbor and 4
million residents known for their welcoming hospitality. Since the
Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, Australia, which has
staunchly supported the Bush administration and dispatched troops to
Iraq and Afghanistan, has had a preoccupation with terrorism.
Australians refer to bombings by Islamic attackers at Bali,
Indonesia, nightclubs in October 2002 as their version of Sept. 11.
Of the 202 people killed in the attacks on the resort island, 88
were Australians, including seven women from the Cronulla Beach
area. Their photographs are displayed on a stone memorial in the
center of the area where the riots took place one week ago.
Authorities arrested 18 Islamic radicals in Sydney and Melbourne
last month under newly strengthened anti-terrorism laws. The men,
among them Australian-born Muslims, had been stockpiling large
amounts of explosives and chemicals for what appeared to be a series
of major terrorist attacks, officials said. Among their plans,
according to testimony and evidence presented in court, were a bomb
attack on a nuclear power plant in Sydney and an assassination
attempt against Prime Minister John Howard. Reports on the trials
were featured on the front pages of newspapers and on television
news shows here in the days before and after the riots.
Tensions erupted after a group of Lebanese youths allegedly
attacked two Australian lifeguards -- figures viewed here as
national symbols akin to Canada's Mounties or Britain's Beefeater
guards. Radio talk-show hosts and tabloid newspapers inflamed
passions by calling for demonstrations on the beaches. A campaign of
cell phone text messages went further, some apparently originating
from white supremacist groups, and widely disseminated. The messages
prodded protesters to turn Dec. 11 into a "bash the Lebs
day" -- referring to Australians of Middle Eastern descent,
many of whom are ethnically Lebanese.
Participants said the crowd on the beach that day included men
wrapping themselves in the Australian flag, some wearing profane
shirts slandering the prophet Muhammad. At least one man in the
crowd wore a shirt that read, "Osama Bin Laden Doesn't
"It started as a laugh with the mates," said Tim
Kelloway, 16, a bronzed surfer who recounted the day's events.
"But then things just got scary."
The ethnic taunts become violent, and mobs began "attacking
anyone at the beach who looked like a Leb," said Kelloway,
echoing the accounts of 11 other eyewitnesses interviewed for this
"The situation was ready to explode here," Kelloway said.
"The Lebs have been coming around more and more, being rude to
the Aussie girls and acting like this beach is theirs. I think we were
all surprised by how bad things have become, but the truth is, they
aren't really Australians. Look at what they do in other parts of the
world. I mean, they don't see themselves as Aussies and we don't see
them as Aussies, either."
More than three decades after this nation officially dropped its
policy of selective immigration and welcomed people of many ethnic
backgrounds, the riots have shocked many Australians. In recent
decades, the country has embraced the concept of a multicultural
society, in which non-European immigrants were not pressured to
assimilate culturally into mainstream society.
Leaders of Australia's large Asian population -- the nation's
single largest ethnic group after white Australians -- hail the
country as exceedingly tolerant. "We could not ask for a more
hospitable home," said Peter Wong, a legislator in the New South
Wales parliament who immigrated from China almost 40 years ago.
Those sentiments, analysts and community leaders said, can be
attributed in part to the rise in recent years of violent Lebanese and
Middle Eastern gangs who are taking their cues from an unusual mix of
Muslim-empowerment messages and American hip-hop culture. Wearing
baggy jeans and souped-up low-riders, they cruise the streets of
Sydney, dwelling mostly in the disadvantaged western suburbs, which
suffer from lower education levels and employment rates almost twice
as low as the national average. In 2002, several gang members were
charged with brutal rapes of Australian women.
Community leaders say that increasing anti-Muslim sentiment has
isolated people of Middle Eastern origin from other Australians,
although many Lebanese here are Christians who fled violence in their
country in the 1980s. People of Middle Eastern origin largely live in
the greater Sydney area, where they make up about 5 percent of the
Young Arab Australians say that white Australians don't give them a
chance, especially in the age of the war on terrorism. In high school,
"I had lots of Aussie mates, but these days, you get the feeling
they just don't trust you," said Ahmad Kanj, 30, an
Australian-born Lebanese X-ray technician. Kanj advises young Muslims
at the Islamic Youth Center in the Sydney suburb of Liverpool.
"They look at us in the malls, when we're walking down the
street. And you know what they're thinking," he said.
"It's unfair to call us racists," said Alice Campbell,
16, who said she was at the Cronulla riots. "I have lots of
Middle Eastern friends. But some of them come down here with their
women who go into the water fully clothed and then turn around and
stare at us and calling us cheap sluts. . . . I say, they need to
start understanding our culture if they really want to be
Members of Howard's Conservative Party and some commentators have
used the sudden explosion of ethnic violence to denounce the concept
of multiculturalism, which was embraced and promoted by the previous
government, led by the Labor Party. Howard, meanwhile, has refused to
describe the attacks against Australians of Middle Eastern descent as
racially motivated. The prime minister instead referred to the
violence more vaguely as a problem of "law and order" while
insisting it must be viewed in the context of the assault on
"Aussie" lifeguards the previous week. "Australia is
not racist," he told reporters last week.
However, a public opinion poll by the Sydney Morning Herald
published Monday showed that 75 percent of respondents disagreed with
Howard, saying that the country has underlying racial problems.
The government of the state of New South Wales, where Sydney is
located, has promoted meetings between representatives from both the
beach communities and minority groups from the western suburbs. But
the state legislature also passed emergency measures last week,
allowing lockdowns of troubled neighborhoods, roadblocks and train
searches that have lead to dozens of arrests and confiscations of
The national government has taken only one direct measure: an offer
of a $385,000 grant to train Lebanese Australians as lifeguards.
"Australia has changed in the post-9/11 world without many of
us even realizing it," said Amanda Wise, a fellow at Macquarie
University's Center for Research on Social Inclusion. "It is
clear that we are now in the middle of Islam-aphobia, and we need to
admit that racism is at the core of this so we can begin dealing with
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Auto parts maker Dana Corp. (DCN.N: Quote)
said on Tuesday it would cut about 800 jobs in Canada and Australia as
supply agreements expire for frames and axles.
Toledo, Ohio-based Dana will record pretax charges of about $28
million in the fourth quarter and sees another $10 million in charges in
2006 or early 2007.
Dana shares were down 20 cents, or 2.9 percent, at $6.65 on the New
York Stock Exchange.
|Australia's Snowy Hydro moves
closer to full privatisation - report
SYDNEY (AFX) - The full privatisation of
government-owned Snowy Hydro, which is worth at least 3.0 bln aud,
gained momentum yesterday after federal treasurer Peter Costello said
Canberra might sell its 13 pct stake in the electricity producer, The
Australian newspaper reported.
It said Costello indicated the federal
Government might join the state of New South Wales in unloading its
share, while the state government of Victoria remains undecided about
selling its 29 pct stake.
Last Friday the NSW state government said it
wants to sell its 58 pct stake in Snowy Hydro.
The Australian said the NSW Government will
brief investment bankers today.
It said Snowy Hydro's chairman Robert Barry
said the operation has been considering ways to access equity to fund
investment in new power stations and retail opportunities as additional
debt alone is not an option.
Barry believes an IPO will give Snowy Hydro the
ability to access markets to fund its plans for significant investment
in value-adding generation and retail opportunities, as well as
improving the Snowy scheme.
Snowy Hydro, Australia's second-biggest
electricity generation operation, grew out of the Snowy Mountains Hydro
It owns and manages seven power stations, 16
major dams (with a capacity of 3756 megawatts), and 145 km of tunnels
and 80 km of aqueducts.
Other assets include the 300 MW Valley Power
gas-fired generation plant in Victoria, and it is building a 320 MW
plant at Laverton North, also in Victoria. It also owns the embryonic
retailer Red Energy.
Last year, Snowy Hydro reported a pre-tax
annual profit of 198.6 mln aud and paid dividends to its three
shareholders totalling 110 mln aud.
(1 usd = 1.36 aud)
|Ice Age footprints
discovered in a dry lake bed in Australia
Thursday, December 22, 2005
SYDNEY: Hundreds of human footprints dating back 20,000
years to the Ice Age have been discovered in a dry lake bed
in Australia, scientists said on Thursday.
University of Melbourne archaeologist Matthew Cupper told
Australian radio that they were the earliest footprint
fossils found in the country. “It's really quite a
remarkable find. It's a little snapshot in time. The
possibilities are endless in terms of getting a window into
past aboriginal society.”
They were left by adults, teenagers and children walking
and running across moist clay flats near Willandra Lakes,
southwest of Sydney, the university archaeologists who made
the discovery said. The prints, ranging in size from 5.1 to
11.8 inches, provide an insight into the anatomy and
behaviour of the people who left them, they said in an
on-line report in the Journal of Human Evolution.
“The size of the prints and the pace lengths in most
trackways indicate tall individuals who were able to achieve
high running speeds.”
Some of the people appeared to be hunting, with emu and
kangaroo footprints also in the area and what appeared to be
spear holes in the ground, they said. One man, estimated at
six feet tall, appeared to be sprinting at about 20 kmh.
The report said 457 footprints, “'the largest
collection of Pleistocene human footprints in the world”,
has been the second such discovery in Australia.
Australia toughen laws on Visas for foreign crews coming in on ships
The Australian government has announced it is to spend around $US73
million on a new visa system for foreign sea crews.
Each year more than half a million commercial ship crew arriving in
Australia are checked against a computer database listing people of
concern and given a Special Purpose Visa.
But from July next year they will have to apply for a new Maritime
Crew Visa before they reach Australia.
That means tougher checks can be done by the security agency, ASIO,
which will get extra funding under the new arrangements.
Australia's Department of Immigration will record sea crew movements
and receive $US40 million for computer systems and new officers to
assist the shipping industry and board vessels for checks.
Customs will also get 66 new officers to help enforce the changes.
The immigration minister says the new visa will bring security checks
for foreign sea crew up to the same level as those in place for other
Mohammed bin Zayed Meets Australia's FM
Dec 22, 2005 -
Abu Dhabi, Dec. 22, 05 (WAM)-- General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al
Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE
Armed Forces met over dinner on Thursday with Alexander Downer,
Australia's Foreign Minister, and the accompanying delegation, currently
visiting the UAE.
They discused bilateral relations and means of promoting them for the
mutual benefit of both countries. They also reviewed developments in the
regional and international arenas as well as issues of mutual concern.
Present at the meeting were Yusuf bin Mana Al Otaiba, Director of
International Affairs at the Crown Prince Court, Dr. Saeed Mohammed Al
Shamsi, UAE Ambassador to Australia, and Australia's Ambassador to the
UAE, Jeremy Christopher.
Howard won't budge on same-sex marriage
December 23, 2005
JOHN Howard has ruled out recognising same-sex
marriages, angering gay men and lesbians across the country.
Singer Elton John and Canadian filmmaker David Furnish were among
hundreds of same-sex couples to wed in England and Wales this week when
Britain followed Canada, Belgium, The Netherlands and Spain, to
officially recognise same-sex unions.
Yesterday in Sydney, the Prime Minister said he opposed gay unions
and believed marriage could exist only between a man and a woman.
Asked if he could support gay marriage in light of Sir Elton's civil
union, he said: "I would be opposed to it. I think marriage is for
men and women. That's why we amended the Marriage Act (in August last
Mr Howard said he did not intend to show hostility or discrimination
towards gay people. "But I believe very strongly that marriage is
exclusively a union for life of a man and a woman to the exclusion of
others," he said.
However, Mr Howard said he supported removing other discrimination
against people in same-sex relationships.
Former Australian Medical Association president Kerryn Phelps, who
married her partner Jackie Stricker in New York almost eight years ago,
yesterday said she was angry their union was not recognised in
"I have serious concerns about the intrusion of the church into
matters of the state," Dr Phelps said. "Gender is the least
important factor in determining whether a relationship is worthy of
"It makes me angry, disgusted, it makes me ashamed in many
respects of our system of government and it makes me determined
Australia should have a bill of rights that enshrines equality."
Additional reporting: AAP
|Australia To Track Muslim
SYDNEY, Australia, Dec. 27, 2005
Howard established the Muslim Advisory Council after the
July 7 London bombings killed 52 people, highlighting the risk
of homegrown terrorists in Britain.
(AP) Islamic clerics in Australia will be required to
register and adhere to a code of conduct, a council of moderate
Muslims announced Tuesday, amid efforts to rein in radical preachers
following the London bombings.
The Muslim Advisory Council, which comprises 14 Islamic community
leaders hand-picked by Prime Minister John Howard to help authorities
counter the rise of Islamic extremism, will meet next month to discuss
drafting the imams' code, council member Yasser Soliman said.
"We're trying to put together some sort of guidelines about who
can become a cleric," Soliman told Australian Broadcasting Corp.
radio. "The guidelines are in response to suggestions by the
community and clerics ... there are people who are appointing
themselves as clerics when they're really just backyard clerics and
Radical Muslim cleric Sheik Mohammed Omran who has preached that al
Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is a great man who played no part in the
Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks in the United States reacted angrily to
the council's move.
"They don't have authority; they don't have the power; they don't
have any license to talk about that (registering clerics)," Omran
told The Australian newspaper in an interview published Tuesday.
Soliman agreed the council had no power to enforce the code of conduct
or force clerics to register, but he predicted that only five or six
clerics would refuse to register.
"They'll be identified as not plugging into the mainstream and
not representing the community," Soliman said. "At this
stage, there's a big fog about where they fit in."
Soliman said the guidelines will be helpful for clerics from overseas.
"Clerics coming from overseas especially would benefit from
understanding the politics of the country, the political system, the
language if they're not very fluent in English," Soliman said.
"It's important that any gaps be identified. It's not something
that should come across as being an insult."
Howard established the Muslim Advisory Council after the July 7 London
bombings killed 52 people, highlighting the risk of homegrown
terrorists in Britain.
The prime minister has criticized Australia's Islamic leaders for
failing to speak out against radical preachers.
But Howard in turn has come under criticism for excluding radical
Muslims from his council and for failing to acknowledge the role that
Australia's involvement in the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of
Iraq has in radicalizing young Muslims.
Australian authorities launched their largest ever counterterrorism
crackdown on Nov. 8, arresting 18 Muslims in coordinated pre-dawn
raids in Melbourne and Sydney in an operation police said headed off a
catastrophic terror attack, possibly targeting a nuclear reactor in
©MMV The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
|Australian Dollar Falls on View
Interest-Rate Premium to Shrink
Dec. 28 , 2005 (Bloomberg) -- Australia's dollar fell on concern the
country's yield differential will narrow as the U.S. continues to raise
interest rates next year.
The Australian currency is headed for its first annual loss in four
years after the Federal Reserve increased borrowing costs eight times in
2005, compared with once by the Reserve Bank of Australia.
``The U.S. economy remains sound and we expect two further interest
rate rises in the new year,'' said Craig James, chief equities economist
at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. ``The strength of the U.S. economy
and those two interest rate rises will be underpinning the U.S. dollar
in coming months.''
The Australian dollar bought 72.49 U.S. cents as of 9:33 a.m. in
Sydney, from 72.90 cents late in Asia yesterday.
The currency has fallen 6.8 percent this year as the Federal Reserve
has lifted its key interest rate eight times to 4.25 percent compared
with just one increase by the Reserve Bank of Australia to 5.5 percent.
Last Update: Wednesday,
December 28, 2005. 8:02am (AEDT)
SA fire crews prepare for extreme conditions
The Country Fire Service (CFS) is warning of
extreme fire danger conditions across much of South Australia in the
Firefighters yesterday fought several fires
sparked by lightning strikes on Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula and in
the Adelaide Hills.
The Bureau of Meteorology recorded more than
15,000 lightning strikes and 173 incidents were reported to the CFS.
CFS state commander Rob Sandford says while
today's milder weather conditions should give firefighters a brief
respite, it is unlikely to last long.
"Then later in the week, probably Thursday
and Friday, are going to be hot to warm, probably windy as well,"
"So people will need to be taking care and
they need to talk through with their families about whether they stay
and defend their property or go early.
"If they go early, we mean early in the
day - well before the fire has even started."
Eyre Peninsula CFS regional commander Kevin May
says fire crews will spend much of today mopping up before the fire
danger rises again tomorrow.
"We've got warm days Thursday and Friday
so crews are going to be very busy for the next 24 to 48 hours,"
Temperatures are expected to rise into the
mid-30s again tomorrow.
State Emergency Service (SES) crews also had a
busy night, as fierce winds ripped through a number of towns in the
Damage was reported in places including Port
Pirie, Iron Knob, Roxby Downs and Whyalla, while some Adelaide suburbs
suffered minor damage.
Whyalla SES unit manager Tony Fahlbusch says
there were more than 25 calls for help, with trees and powerlines down
across the city.
He described the scene last night.
"At the moment it's quite grey in colour
because we're now also getting the smell of the smoke from the fires
at Cleve-Dark Peake area but it's quite eerie," he said.
|Australians flee epic tropical storm
By Mike Corder
Sydney - A powerful tropical cyclone packing winds of up to
290km/h slammed into Australia's north-eastern coast on Monday
after more than 1 000 tourists and local residents were
evacuated to higher ground, the weather bureau said.
Tropical cyclone Larry smashed into the coastal community of
Innisfail, about 100km south of Cairns, a popular jumping-off
point for the Great Barrier Reef, forecaster Jonty Hall said.
The weather bureau on Monday upgraded the storm to a category
five - the strongest category possible - and thousands of local
residents were evacuated ahead of the cyclone's arrival.
There were no immediate reports of
injuries or damage, but officials predicted the storm could
cause widespread devastation.
Hall said conditions were "terrible" in the region,
and warned of surging coastal tides and gale-force winds along a
300km stretch of coast in north-eastern Queensland.
"There are extremely dangerous conditions," he said.
"We're starting to see a very dangerous storm surge come to
shore ... It doesn't get much worse than this."
"This is the most devastating
cyclone that we could potentially see on the east coast of
Queensland for decades... there is going to be
destruction," Pagano told reporters in Brisbane.
The weather bureau said destructive winds were occurring along
the exposed coast from Port Douglas, about 50km north of Cairns,
to Ingham, about 250km south.
Late Sunday, Queensland state Counter Disaster and Rescue
Services executive director Frank Pagano compared the potential
force of Larry to Katrina, which ravaged the United States' Gulf
states in August last year, killing more than 1 300 people.
National flag carrier Qantas cancelled a scheduled morning
flight to Cairns and another to Townsville - the two largest
cities in the cyclone's possible path. Cairns has a population
of 125 000 while Townsville is home to 160 000 people.
Brisbane Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre website advised:
"People in the path of this very dangerous cyclone should
stay calm and remain in a secure shelter - above the expected
water level - while the very destructive winds continue."
The stretch of coast the storm was heading toward includes the
tourist city of Cairns, popular with international travellers
and the start point for many Great Barrier Reef boat cruises.
"Coastal residents between Cairns and Townsville are
specifically warned of the dangerous storm tide as the cyclone
crosses the coast," the bureau warned. "The sea is
likely to steadily rise up to a level which will be
significantly above the normal tide, with damaging waves, strong
currents and flooding of low-lying areas extending some way
Queensland state Premier Peter Beattie declared a disaster
situation, giving local governments the power to enforce
Authorities ordered residents living south of Cairns to flee
their homes if they live close to the coast.
"There have been mandatory evacuations of coastal shires
south of Cairns... and emergency shelters set up for people who
feel at risk with nowhere to go," a Cairns City Council
Disaster Coordination Centre spokesperson told Australian
"It's most likely thousands of people are evacuating to
avoid the high tide," he added.
Larry was expected to cross the coast early on Monday morning.
Peter Rekers, a spokesperson for the Queensland state Counter
Disaster and Rescue Service, said he was worried about the
cyclone's size - with strong winds expected along up to 400km of
"The big concern for us - if one town is hit by devastation
then towns from the surrounding area can come down to assist -
(but) in this case, we're likely to see four or five towns
across being devastated at much the same time," he told
Australian Broadcasting Corp. "So they're not going to be
as easy to get to each other and look after each other."
Pagano warned residents to stay away from areas likely to become
flooded, saying water often posed a much higher danger than
gale-force winds during cyclones.
"Buildings themselves may withstand the force of the winds
because of our building codes, however, a category four and
category five will be devastating," Pagano said. - Sapa-AP
Cyclone casualties in Cairns
March 20, 2006
DESTRUCTIVE Cyclone Larry had caused some
casualties in Cairns and there were reports of people missing, the
weather bureau said today.
Cyclone Larry hit the far north Queensland coast this morning as a
maximum category five storm, but has since been downgraded to a
However, forecasters warn the region has probably not yet seen the
The town of Innisfail, south of Cairns, has been hit hard, with
wind gusts of up to 290km/h tearing roofs of homes. Cairns has also
suffered significant property damage.
"We have reports of fairly major structural damage around
Innisfail area, one from Silkwood which is to the south of Innisfail,
and we've had reports of some casualties at Cairns hospital, some 20
or so," weather bureau forecaster Jonty Hall said.
"There's also some reports of a few people missing as well.
Mr Hall said the eye of the cyclone was now 25km west of Innisfail.
It was moving quickly, but would remain in the Innisfail area for
A Queensland Ambulance Service spokeswoman said she could not
confirm reports of people being taken to hospital.
"We are just putting all our contingencies in place," she
"We are making sure people are calm and talking to them on the
phones through out communications centres.
"But at the moment everybody is just knuckling down and
waiting for it to pass."
Mr Hall said the conditions were "terrible" but the worst
was yet to come.
"We estimate the worst conditions will be from Innisfail down
towards the Mission Beach area on the southern side on the track of
that cyclone," he said.
"But also in Cairns, just because of the mountainous range up
through there, they'll get some very gusty winds from the west as we
go through this morning.
"They probably haven't seen the strongest winds there yet
despite the fact that the cyclone's over land, so they've still got
their worst to come."
Mr Hall said the cyclone would degrade to a low by tomorrow.
"It's starting to weaken already ... so in about 12 hours'
time, it's likely to be a category two," he said.
Massive Cyclone Slams Australia
Category 5 Storm Inflicts Extensive Property Damage
By MERAIAH FOLEY, AP
CAIRNS, Australia (March 20) -- The most powerful
storm to hit Australia in three decades laid waste to its northeastern
coast Monday, mowing down sugar and banana plantations with 180 mph winds
but causing no deaths or serious injuries
Innisfail, a farming town of 8,500 located about 60
miles south of the tourist city of Cairns, was hardest hit, and Mayor Neil
Clarke estimated that thousands of residents were left homeless.
More than 100,000 people were without power, and
the damage was estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Prime Minister John Howard pledged immediate cash handouts to the homeless
and said more help would be forthcoming.
"The damage to dwellings is very
extensive," Howard told the Nine Network from Melbourne. "Thank
heavens it does not appear as though there have been any very serious
Clarke told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. the
local airport was being cleared to house people in tents.
The town's main street was littered with mangled
tin and iron roofs and shredded fronds from seaside palm trees.
"It looks like an atomic bomb hit the
place," Clarke said. "We won't even have any water to drink by
Cyclone Larry crashed ashore south of Cairns as a
Category 5 storm. Cairns is a popular jumping-off point for tourists to
the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral system that runs
parallel to the coast for more than 1,400 miles.
Authorities said it was too early to assess
possible damage to the reef, visited by nearly 2 million tourists each
David Wachenfeld, director of science at the
government body that cares for the reef, said the worst-hit area of the
reef was not one that was popular with tourists. He said it would recover
-- though that could take 20 years.
About 30 people were treated at hospitals for minor
cuts and abrasions, said Ben Creagh, a spokesman for Queensland state
Department of Emergency Services. The human toll was low because people
were warned about the cyclone's approach over the weekend and either
boarded up their homes and fled or hunkered down or went to evacuation
centers in town while the storm raged outside, Creagh said.
"Good planning, a bit of luck -- we've dodged
a bullet," Creagh said.
The storm was the most powerful to hit Australia
since Christmas Eve in 1974, when Cyclone Tracy destroyed the northern
city of Darwin, killing 65 people.
By early Tuesday, the storm was moving inland to
the west over a remote area of northeastern Australia. It was losing force
and had been downgraded to a Category 2 storm.
State authorities declared a natural disaster, and
Howard promised immediate payments to families of $720 for each adult and
$290 for each child left homeless. Howard indicated that more aid would
come after the government assessed the damage.
State Disaster Coordination Center spokesman Peter
Rekers warned residents to stay on their guard for deadly animals stirred
up by the storm.
"Most of the casualties and deaths resulting
from cyclones happen after the storm has passed," he warned.
"Keep your kids away from flooded drains, be aware of snakes and
crocodiles. Those guys will have had a bad night, too."
Queensland state leader Peter Beattie said 55
percent of homes in Innisfail had been damaged, though rescue and
assessment teams were yet to get full access to the swamped region. All
roads into Innisfail remained blocked late Monday night.
"We haven't had a cyclone like this for
decades, if we've ever had one like it before," he said. "The
property damage has been immense."
The storm was so bad at its height overnight that
police were unable to venture out and help terrified residents who called
to say the winds had ripped roofs off buildings and destroyed their homes.
Des Hensler, an Innisfail resident, took shelter by
himself in a church, with water up to his ankles.
"I don't get scared much, but this is
something to make any man tremble in his boots," he told the Seven
As emergency services fanned out across the region
later to assess the damage, they saw devastation.
Farmers were expected to be among the hardest hit
-- the region is a major growing region for bananas and sugar cane, and
the storm stripped plantations bare. Officials said damage would run into
hundreds of millions of dollars.
"It looks like someone's gone in there with a
slasher and slashed the top off everything," said Bill Horsford, an
Innisfail cane farmer and member of the Cane Protection and Productivity
3/20/2006 08:13 EST
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press.
50-year low as drought shears into wool output
July 11, 2006
WOOL production in Australia, at its lowest in more than 50 years,
may decline further as drought reduces sheep feed.
Production may fall to 456,000 tonnes this financial year, the
forecasting committee of Australian Wool Innovation says. That's 0.7 of
a percentage point down on last year and 1.9 per cent below its March
Farmers in Australia, the world's largest wool producer and exporter,
are struggling to expand flocks amid an 18 per cent jump in prices for
the fibre this year because of lingering dry weather. Drought covers 89
per cent of NSW, Australia's biggest wool-growing state, where some
farms have suffered below-average rainfall for the past five years.
"If the drought doesn't turn around, it is quite possible that
our next forecast" in late September may be revised down, David
James, the committee's chairman, said. Poorer pasture conditions were
stressing sheep, causing them to produce lighter fleeces, he said.
The wool production forecast for the financial year was based on 106
million head of sheep each yielding an average of 4.31 kilograms of
fleece, Australian Wool Innovation said.
Wool auction prices on the benchmark Eastern Market Indicator rose
0.3 per cent to $7.49 a kilogram last Thursday.
Output in Western Australia, the second-biggest wool-producing state,
is forecast to fall to 111,000 tonnes, down 7 per cent.
Drought Sees Cattle Giant Cut Herd Numbers
One of Australia's big cattle companies says it is continuing to
"aggressively" de-stock its Queensland Channel Country
properties as the drought continues to bite.
S Kidman and Co has properties on the Georgina, Diamantina and Cooper
Creek systems, including Durham Downs in Queensland's far south-west and
Sandringham further north near Bedourie.
Chief executive Greg Campbell says while a moderate flood earlier
this year has helped, the drought is worsening in most south-west areas
and cattle are still being moved out.
"Well we've got a couple of properties that are moving cattle in
the hundreds each week ... as far as breeding stock goes that's quite an
aggressive reduction for us," he said.
"We've had breeding stock for instance into the Roma saleyards
for instance, you know a few hundred each week for the last couple of
months really, so it's a case of continuing to wind back the numbers
until it rains.
"Throughout the Channel Country at the
moment we're about 50 to 60 per cent stocked, by comparison to our
average carrying numbers, so we'll end up by the end of winter, if our
seasonal conditions don't change, we'll end up with half or below half
of our herd through our properties in south-west Queensland."
Dry June worsens drought conditions
July 5, 2006 - 4:39PM
Drought conditions have worsened in some parts of Australia after one
of the driest Junes on record.
The Bureau of Meteorology's latest drought analysis highlights some
severe rainfall deficiencies, particularly in central NSW and south-west
"Australia-wide, it was the fifth driest June from 107 years of
records, whilst it was the driest on record for Western Australia and
the third driest for Victoria," the bureau said.
"This has contributed to a large area of driest-on-record along
the south-west WA coast and in central NSW for the period since the
start of autumn."
In WA, the dry area extends across a vast area of the state's
southern half, from Shark Bay in the north to the southern port of
A broad coastal zone from Cape Leeuwin in the south to the port of
Geraldton, some 400km north of Perth, has experienced record low
rainfall over the past four months.
"June rainfall in south-west WA was generally less than 30 per
cent of average, causing deficiencies to expand and intensify in
comparison with the situation at the end of May," the bureau said.
"The south-west of WA needs above to very much above average
rainfall for the rest of winter to remove the current short-term
Poor June rainfall in central NSW contributed to an expansion in the
area experiencing an extreme dry spell.
Below average rainfall across southern Australia in June also caused
serious to severe rainfall deficiencies in large areas of central and
western Victoria, extending into South Australia, also affecting the
northeastern tip of Tasmania.
© 2006 AAP
Drought catastrophe stalks Australia's farms
'People will be walking off the land' if it doesn't rain,
one farmer predicts
By Rob Taylor
Updated: 11:35 a.m. PT Aug 29, 2007
MOULAMEIN, Australia - A thin winter green carpets
Australia's southeast hills and plains, camouflaging the
onset of a drought catastrophe in the nation's food bowl.
Sheep and cattle farmer Ian Shippen stands in a dying
ankle-high oat crop under a mobile irrigation boom
stretching nearly half-a-kilometer, but now useless
honestly think we're stuffed," he says grimly. "It's on a
knife edge and if it doesn't rain in the next couple of
weeks it's going to be very ugly. People will be walking
off the land, going broke."
Shippen's property "Chah Singh" sits in the heart of
Australia's Murray-Darling river basin, a vast plain
bigger than France and Germany, home to 2 million people
and in good times the source of almost half the nation's
fruit and cereal crop.
years of drought, which some blame on global warming, have
savagely depleted the huge dams built 60 years ago to hold
the snow melt from the Australian alps and push it
hundreds of miles inland to the parched west for farm
Murray-Darling normally provides 90 percent of Australia's
irrigated crops and $18 billion worth of agricultural
exports to Asia and the Middle East.
with some crops now just days from failure, farmers are to
receive no water at all for irrigation through the summer,
while others will get a fraction of their regular
entitlement to keep alive vital plantings like citrus
trees and grapevines.
massive Hume Weir, which can hold enough water to fill
seven Sydney Harbours, is so dry that a lakeside holiday
village is now a third of a mile from the depleted shore
and rods to measure water depth stand on bare rock far
from the waters' edge.
"It's grim. The water is not there," says Wendy Craik, the
head of the Murray-Darling Basin Commission, which
oversees storage in the country's longest river and dam
Australia's Prime Minister John Howard warned of an
"unprecedentedly dangerous" drought in April and advised
the nation to pray for rain as economists warned the dry
would wipe one percent off the economy in 2006-07.
Those prayers were answered briefly in May and June after
winter storms lashed the east coast and major cities,
bringing localized flooding and seemingly the end of a dry
spell that has lasted near a decade in some areas of the
Rain indebted farmers more
But by bringing hope, the rains ironically may have also
worsened the drought's impact on battling farmers through
the hot months ahead.
thought it was just going to keep on raining. When you go
into drought people normally just lock up and don't spend,
but after that rain everyone just went out and spent money
to plant crops and climb out of the hole they were in,"
Near the town of Griffith in the Murrumbidgee River
valley, renowned for its citrus and wines, thousands of
oranges lie rotting under rows of trees stretching to the
horizon under relentless blue skies.
are in the lap of the gods and rainfall. The trees are
under a great deal of stress and any adverse weather or
hot weather is creating an enormous amount of fruit drop,"
says second generation citrus grower Louis Sartor.
Sartor's father Giulio was among the Italian immigrant
pioneers who opened Griffith to farming in the 1950s and
he still works at age 80, pruning back trees against the
thinks it will pass. He came here from Italy when it was
like going to the moon. He is the total optimist," says
the nuggety Sartor over tea and biscuits in his
Global warming skeptics
Sartor, like many conservative Australian farmers, is
deeply skeptical about climate shift's role in the
drought, despite U.N. predictions that temperatures could
rise by 6.7 degrees Celsius by century's end.
"Find me the scientist that can stand up on a platform and
say 'I know'," he says.
That skepticism runs even deeper south along the Murray,
with many farmers certain irrigation shortages are the
result of government bungling and a determination to claw
back precious water for a green agenda driven by majority
I class this
as a human-induced crisis, not a climate
induced one," says Neil Eagle, 79, a
fourth-generation citrus grower at Barham,
a retirement and farming haven on the
forebears settled this so-called "Golden
Rivers Country" in the 1890s, bringing
paddleboats into the area and opening up
irrigated cropping in a region verging on
it was warmer in the 1930s and 40s than it
has been in the last 50 years. These
things are cyclical," he says.
At the same
time environmental scientists like Tim
Flannery argue the continent is a
"harbinger" of climate shift and
experiencing accelerated greenhouse
They want to
pipe the region's open irrigation ditches
and cut back water use to protect
long-term river health.
"If we are
going to devastate the regions for
agricultural production, that's exactly
what will do it," says a frustrated Eagle.
"If that sort of insanity does not
prevail, there's no reason we won't get
good years again."
of a believer'
But dairy farmer Phil O'Neill, who faces
ruin with his critical water allocations
cut, suspects climate change may be a part
of what some say is the worst drought for
"I'm a bit
of a believer. This weather change
combined with cyclical downturn in rains,
it's a bloody disaster," he says.
stocky 49-year-old with huge hands and
steel-wool hair, is one of the last dairy
farmers near Barham, with the long dry
having already forced most others off the
rueful smile he says he spent $250,000 to
keep going through last summer and wont be
doing it again, instead opting to sell off
parts of his cherished 1,100 acre farm.
30-40 years of breeding there and it could
all be gone soon," he says, his voice
cracking with emotion as he hefts
three-day-old calves onto pickup truck for
sale or slaughter.
Warne, the head of Murray Irrigation,
lives in Barham and is training staff to
spot depression in farmers as the drought
underlying epidemic of fear and worry out
there," he says. "We've got all the signs
of a stressed community."
figures show rural debt has risen sharply.
"We are hearing stories of farmers
defaulting on lease payments," Warne says.
the economic vice are rising interest
rates, with most farmers already heavily
in debt for millions of dollars worth of
tractors, harvesters and irrigation
a $9 billion plan put forward by Prime
Minister Howard to protect water supplies
in the months ahead, but which is being
whittled back by bickering between
competing states over water. Howard wants
to seize control of the river system to
end state squabbling and make water a
the drought and a new sense of the
importance of water in the driest
inhabited continent, with prices having
risen 25 fold, will change Australian
farming forever and make some irrigation
to be a massive change," the one-time rice
farmer says. "I spent the first half of my
life developing irrigation and I'll spend
the second half pulling it down."
To Warne the
only solution to a disaster threatening to
unravel whole rural communities is in the
"We are now
in something that is beyond probabilities.
We are in a drought sequence that's worse
than our white history," he says.
Copyright 2007 Reuters
Limited. All rights reserved.
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