The real impact of a cyclone depends on more than just its category, with important factors including its size, tides and the region it hits. Here are some of the most destructive cyclones in Australia’s history.
Australia is facing an above-average cyclone season, with at least 11 cyclones likely in the region.
At its peak, Typhoon Meranti reached wind gusts of 370km per hour, causing extensive damage and taking at least two lives.
Vanuatu is facing the worst natural disaster in the Pacific in recent memory, in the wake of Category 5 Cyclone Pam
It wasn’t until the dark of midnight, on Christmas day, 25 December 1974, that Cyclone Tracy really began to make an impact. In the seven hours it took the cyclone to pass over Darwin, it destroyed roughly 70 per cent of the small capital city. In all, 71 people were killed in the chaos, 13 of them lost at sea. A bill of $500-600 million dollars also racked up ($2.5-3 billion today), as planes, cars, power lines and structures were whipped across streets, destroying buildings and infrastructure. But there were sparks of hope amid the destruction. The then-tiny town of Alice Springs raised $100,000 (~$700,000 today) with 24 hours of the tragedy.