The Australians were relieved and surprised after one of the world’s most powerful hurricanes did not cause the expected devastation in the northeast coast; no deaths were reported despite the winds that tore off roofs and toppled trees.
Cyclone Yasi, with a size similar to Italy and winds up to 300 kilometers per hour, has slowed down and has dropped from category 3 to 2.
The absence of any substantial damage or victims was also attributed to the several days of preparation for the cyclone, the early evacuations, and the laws ensuring that new houses and buildings have to be sturdy enough to stand a cyclone.
The cyclone made landfall about midnight on the long coast of Queensland then it turned inland bringing heavy rains to mining areas that are struggling to recover from the recent devastating floods. Its biggest impact could be in the economy, the sugar cane crops have been damaged, with initial estimates which suggest that about 15% of the national harvest sugar cane might be lost. Industry has estimated that an area which corresponds to about one third of the crop, had suffered losses of 50% on its production.