Are You Feeling Lucky?

On a personal note we have had a pretty yucky time of it lately. Within the last six weeks or so…..

  • Car ignition barrel/cylinder broke. Repair cost: $618. Kerching!
  • Mudslide to garden real wall. Repair cost: $803. Kerching!
  • Front shock absorbers worn. Repair cost: $853. Kerching!
  • Solar hot water tank leak. Replacement system cost $3,416. Kerching!
  • Rupture to water mains supply pipe. Repair cost. Awaiting final bill, probably $1,000+. Kerching!
  • And our tumble dryer has just packed up. Replacement cost estimate, $500. Kerching!

But in spite of all this, I am a very lucky man; we are a very lucky family. Especially when you compare our yucky time with the yucky time endured by the entire state of Queensland over the same period.

Because for Queensland, yucky isn’t the word. Yucky would be a mass understatement. This might just be the worst six weeks in Queensland’s entire history. Disastrous and catastrophic are the words that come closest to describing what has gone on here.

On their own, the floods would have been bad enough. But with Queensland on its knees, along came a Category 5 cyclone. Incredibly though, it appears that so far nobody has lost their life “directly” as a result of TC Yasi.

Tropical Cyclone Yasi

Although, sadly, an Ingham man did die of suffocation whilst using a diesel generator from inside a closed room and one man is still missing. Update: He’s OK, they found him. But how about this?

Another man had been missing since Tuesday; he was last heard of attempting to move his yacht to a safer area among the mangroves.

Well, he sailed back into port this afternoon having seen out the entire storm aboard his yacht. Apparently he was ‘shaken but otherwise unharmed’.


I think 11 out of my last 12 posts have been disaster related. I suspect you’re as worn out as I am. But sometimes disasters can serve to remind us of just how lucky we are.

Because if you lived somewhere around Tully or Mission Beach, this is what you woke up to yesterday. I have a short version….

And a longer one……..

Next week I hope to change the subject. That’d be nice, wouldn’t it?

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{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Gordon February 7, 2011, 9:00 pm |

    Adrian , I’ll attempt to answer your question re. safest city , as far as i can.

    To start with , let’s take a look at the continent of Australia .
    It sits firmly on its own tectonic plate which has borders with other tectonic plates quite some distance away , that translates in practical terms to little and mild earthquake activity. Look up ‘Newcastle earthquake’ for the last one that did any significant damage and you’ll see even that pales by comparison worldwide.

    Volcanoes – none active , not for a long time ( tens of thousands of years )

    Tsunami – Darwin ( of the Capital cities ) would have to be the most prone in theory due to its’ proximity to the meeting place of the Australian and Asian plates , however the recent catastrophic tsunami which killed thousands ( roughly 250,000 ) suggests that that subduction zone directs most of its force north and out from there. Little risk here , i would think.

    Weather and Fire events.

    No doubt you’ve seen the footage of recent cyclones , the 2011 Brisbane floods . Victoria has also experienced floods even more recently .

    Quite frankly , anyone can choose where they live , be that in a valley , a flood plain , a beachside , a forested area , an inner suburb or a desert area etc.

    Despite recent newsworthy events , Australia is generally a benign place to live , most Aussies would never experience
    trauma from the elements , wherever they live.

    If I were you , I would probably start by choosing your desired year around climate ( tropical / temperate / cool / downright chilly ) and choose a place there that fits your safety criteria.

    It’s unfortunate that in Australia , much development has taken place in recent times due to profit driven prime location ( riverfront for example ) or low cost to developers ( flood plains spreading out from port cities ).

    Having said that , the planning authorities have more ( or less ) stringent compliance required of developers depending on the local authority.

    I grew up in Sydney in the 60’s and 70’s and experienced bushfires with no harm.

    I lived in Queenslands Far North for 25 years and have been through a few cyclones ( 2 while at sea ) again , with no harm.

    Natural disasters make the headlines but they are the exception rather than the rule , and good choices of domicile mitigate those risks accordingly.

    Everywhere has risks , worldwide. It does at least , keep the world “interesting” 😉

  • BobinOz February 7, 2011, 1:51 pm |

    Juan, Adrian and Yazmin

    I am going to make a video about Adelaide, hope to put it online soon.


  • BobinOz February 7, 2011, 1:50 pm |

    Adrian, good question, but I don’t think we have any safe cities. Bushfires currently raging in Perth and have done in the past around Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. We’ve had heatwaves country wide, cyclones from Darwin to Perth and flooding in 5 states.

    So, hard to say which is safest. Anyone else got any idea?

  • BobinOz February 7, 2011, 1:22 pm |

    Christian, I can assure you many of the homes destroyed were made of brick and the cyclone still took them down.

    Building regulations in the area are much tighter since Tracy destroyed Darwin in 1974.

  • Yazmin February 6, 2011, 5:09 am |

    Yeah Bob! Maybe it is better to remember the good times u had in Adelaide! We all want to hear about that adventure of yours and see some pics. Besides it’s a good way to forget for a while the bad moments All of you are living there and put some smiles back again..

  • Adrian February 5, 2011, 1:08 pm |

    Hey!! I want to see pictures from Adelaida taken by bob too!! The photos that I see on Google Images are amazing

    I’ll be waiting for them!

    PD: And I wait for the answer of the “safe cities” :p

  • Juan Carlos February 5, 2011, 6:16 am |

    Hey bob to change the subject Could you write the comments about the trip to Adelaide. Did you like it? Can you post pictures. Thanks and glad you are fine.

  • Adrian February 5, 2011, 5:52 am |

    In general terms, what is the safest (the more safe) city in Australia? Sydney? Melbourne? (talking about natural disasters)

    And sad to hear that =( I hope everything gets normal as soon as possible


  • Cristian February 5, 2011, 12:10 am |

    I feel lucky because in our area there are not big storms like a Cyclone. Every now and then, powerful winds destroy some roofs, and trees are toppled over.
    I think the difference between destruction and not destruction of a house consists in it’s walls. In my country, homes are usually build from bricks, cement composites and other heavy construction materials. I’ve observed in the video that the houses that were destroyed were made out of sheets of compressed lumber (I don’t know the name of this material, we call it PFL) that are easily blown by wind. The houses made from heavy materials only had their roofs destroyed.

    I’m sorry to hear that your equipments are letting you down. I’ve observed that usually, things out of guarantee tend to brake in a few months. They don’t make good things this days. They make cheaper and low quality products, so you are forced to buy in 2-3 years from them again.
    I hope everything returns to normal soon!


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