20 March, 2006

Australian Farmers Devastated in Queensland
90% Loss Rate for Crops in Wake of Larry

Millions of dollars worth of crops have been destroyed as farmers and residents assess the damage of one of the biggest tropical storms to hit North Queensland. With wind gusts of almost 300 kilometres an hour, Cyclone Larry has ripped apart the town of Innisfail, south of Cairns, and surrounding areas as it heads west.

One in three houses in the area have lost roofs, according to some reports, though casualties appear few. Sugar cane plantations and banana crops have all but been destroyed, with reports of a 90 percent loss rate.

One Innisfail farmer has told of his crop — which usually produces 10,000 tons of sugar — being "completely flattened".

Read the entire story . . .

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