cyclone

Cyclone Tracy: Images of Christmas Day, 40 years ago

History & Culture

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.