Cyclone Lam: communities struggle to recover from the biggest cyclone ever to hit this region.
7,000 people are still waiting on emergency assistance.
Two-thirds of their housing destroyed.
A community left terrified as they begin to rebuild.
A State of Emergency in place.
It’s a disaster like never before seen in this region – and yet the majority of Australians aren’t aware of the extent of this destruction, because sadly the majority of Australia has only heard of one major cyclone that hit last week.
Category 5 Cyclone Marcia hit Queensland at the same time as Category 4 Cyclone Lam was wiping out many areas of the Northern Territory.
While we all know the extent to Cyclone Marcia’s devastation Cyclone Lam too has left communities in Arnhem Land reeling – with a long road to recovery.
The area was hit with a ferocity never before seen, homes were destroyed, power lost for many for more than 48 hours – lives shattered.
Luckily for the communities no lives were lost and yet there are concerns that should another cyclone hit the area that was vastly unprepared next time they will not be so lucky.
The community of Galiwinku sustained the most damage, with six houses destroyed, another 10 almost gone, 80 with moderate to major roof damage and 50 with minor roof damage.
NT Chief Minister Adam Giles visited the area over the weekend saying the devastation was “heartbreaking”.
“Galiwinku residents, I’m glad you’re safe, thank you for your tenacity and your efforts in times of hardship throughout the cyclone,” he said.
Many schools re-open today but those in Maningrida, Milingimbi and Galiwinku will not be able to reopen until March 2.
On Saturday the Federal and Northern Territory governments jointly announced that assistance would be provided in the local government areas of East Arnhem and West Arnhem.