Scenes from Cyclone Yasi, 2011 (Image: AAP/Dave Hunt)

Beautiful one day, seaborne the next

Hey, do you enjoy Cairns? Sure you do! It’s a beautiful part of the world, surrounded by natural splendour and boasting a nice, flat, low-lying aspect just above sea level which is absolutely perfect for welcoming tourists, holidaymakers and catastrophic storm surges which would flood the CBD, hospital and airport.

This isn’t exactly new information, since Cairns has been around for a while and had plenty of storms (including a near-miss in 2011 from Cyclone Yasi which still knocked them around plenty). But now James Cook University associate professor Dr Jonathan Knott has warned that Cairns is right in the sweet spot for the new and stronger cyclones set to be crated by the current La Nina phase of the southern oscillation climate pattern. 

“Yasi created a 7.5-metre storm surge,” he perkily told InQueensland. “If the equivalent of Yasi crossed halfway between Cairns and Port Douglas, we would see a seven-metre storm surge coming into Cairns. That’s water going through at least the second floor of the Cairns Hospital.”