Earlier Monday, the cyclone hit Australia as a category five storm -- the strongest rating possible. The eye hit Innisfail with gusts up to 290 kilometers per hour (180 mph) at about 7:30 a.m. (2030 Sunday GMT), according to Australia's Bureau of Meteorology...Cyclone Larry hit the beautiful beach town Innisfail in Cairnes. Innisfail in my opinion is one of the most beautiful places in Australia. I've been there a few times in the past on the way to dive at the Great Barrier Reef. From the news reports I read, it looks like the cyclone may have destroyed most of the town. I sure hope the good folks there survive. To make matters worse, there is another cyclone called Cyclone Wati tagging behind Cyclone Larry.
The sounds of metal and lumber being torn from structures could be heard above the winds as the cyclone passed, journalist Phil Willmington told CNN.
"There's just devastation everywhere in this coastal community," he said.
A motel proprietor told Australia's Sky News TV that residents of Innisfail ventured out as the calm of the eye of the storm passed over the town.
She said the town looked as if a bomb had hit it with trees uprooted and tin and roofing material scattered everywhere.
For updates on Cyclone Larry, check out this blog, Cyclone Larry: The Aftermath. My favourite storm chaser Dangerman Geoff Mackley is in Cairnes to report on the cyclone. He has posted some photos on his site.