Brace yourselves for Cyclone Kirrily

BoM describes TC as violent, spiralling wind and rain systems that threaten lives and property. Image: trongnguyen/

Another day, another alarming weather event threatening Queensland. This time, Cyclone Kirrily crossed the coast near Townsville on Thursday 25 January.

Disaster assistance for Tropical Cyclone Kirrily has now been extended to help residents and local councils with response and recovery costs.

“Since crossing the coast near Townsville on Thursday night, Tropical Cyclone Kirrily has left many residents without power,” Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt said.

“I met a number of affected residents when I was in Townsville today and I know they need help fast.”

Damage assessments across the impacted region are ongoing and will guide decisions on other support that may be required for communities and local councils.

“The Albanese and Miles Governments will continue to support North Queensland communities in their recovery from this latest weather event, Watt said.

Residents within Townsville City Council and Burdekin Shire Council can now apply for Personal Hardship Assistance grants, with $180 for individuals and up to $900 for a family of five or more, available to cover the costs of essentials as a result of loss of power requiring the disposal of spoilt food or medicines.

A range of other support measures are also available to eligible individuals to help make their home safe to live in and reconnect essential services like electricity, water and sewerage.

This assistance is jointly provided by the Albanese and Miles Governments through the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

McKinlay and Richmond Shire Councils have now also been activated for Councils to receive support to assist with counter disaster operations and the reconstruction of essential public assets.

As previously announced, Burdekin and Hinchinbrook Shire Councils, Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council and Townsville City Council can access funding for counter disaster operations such as the removal of fallen trees and debris, and other measures aimed at community safety like sandbagging.

The activation of immediate disaster assistance will enable these councils to cover the costs associated with preparing for, and the immediate response to the impacts of, Tropical Cyclone Kirrily.

The Cyclone Kirrily was considered a category 1 system with wind gusts in excess of 100 km/h on 25 January at 10am, but has now reached category 2 status according to The Bureau Of Meteorology (BoM).

“The tropical cyclone (TC) advice has been reissued, TC Kirrily is now a category 2 tropical cyclone with wind gusts near the centre expected to reach 130km/h,” shared BoM on the X platform (previously known as Twitter).

“The TC is expected to cross the coast near Townsville tonight.”

BoM describes TC as violent, spiralling wind and rain systems that threaten lives and property at sea and on land which can cause disruption, damage and destruction far beyond the coast, including extensive flooding.

Townsville Local Disaster Management Group (TLDMG) chair Jenny Hill urged Townsville residents to prepare to shelter in place.

“Townsville and surrounds should expect winds to start picking up from around lunch time and we advise people stay off the roads from 2pm today and shelter indoors until advised further,” Hill said.

Hill asked residents to please stay safe by sheltering in place, and for those who didn’t feel comfortable staying in their homes to seek shelter with friends or relatives or alternatively at one of City of Townsville Council’s evacuation centres.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services is also adamant: locals should be prepared for every stage of the weather event.

Before the cyclone, you should:

  • Tune in to warnings.
  • Locate your emergency kit and evacuation items.
  • Put fuel in your vehicle and park it in a sheltered area so you are ready to evacuate if necessary.
  • Secure large items.
  • Fasten all cyclone screens and board up any exposed windows, doors and seep holes.
  • Close windows.
  • Fill containers with drinking water.
  • Bring children and pets indoors. Remain inside away from windows and await further advice.
  • Check in with family, friends and neighbours to make sure they are preparing too.

During the cyclone, you should:

  • Wear strong shoes and tough clothing for protection.
  • Turn off all electricity, gas and water supplies.
  • Go to the place where you planned to shelter in your home.
  • Stay tuned to your information and warnings channels.
  • If the building begins to break up, shelter under a strong table, bench or heavy mattress.
  • Beware the calm eye of the cyclone. Stay inside until you have received official advice that it is safe to go outside.
  • If you are driving when the cyclone hits, stop the vehicle and engage the handbrake. Stop well away from the sea and clear of trees, power lines and streams. Stay in the vehicle.
  • If you are evacuating to a public shelter or higher location, follow the directions of Queensland Police Service and emergency services personnel. Homes in low-lying coastal areas may be advised to evacuate early.

After the cyclone, you should:

  • Not go outside until authorities have advised it is safe.
  • Continue to monitor information channels and follow the advice of authorities.
  • Check on the welfare of pets and livestock. Be cautious of any animals and wildlife which may have taken refuge in your home.
  • If you need to go outside, be aware of your surroundings and take care when inspecting your property and travelling. There may be fallen trees and power lines, broken water and sewage lines, loose roof sheeting, and other material.
  • Check in with your family, friends and neighbours.
  • If you are returning home, follow the travel paths recommended by local authorities. Do not drive into floodwater.
  • Use a torch when inspecting buildings.
  • If you have solar panels that are damaged, do not turn on your power supply until they have been checked by a licenced electrician.
  • Do not use electrical appliances if they are wet until they have been checked by a licenced electrician.
  • Take photographs for insurance purposes.



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