Yasi brings destruction to Australia as social media prepares to help

As blizzard conditions strand motorists across the Midwest and chaos in Cairo continues as Mubarak backers and opponents clash, Australia is now feeling the effect of Cyclone Yasi, believed to be their biggest-ever storm. What was a waiting game of “Where exactly will it hit?” and “How bad will it be?” has become the harsh reality that unprecedented destruction is at hand.

“The large, destructive core of Cyclone Yasi is starting to cross the coast between Innisfail and Cardwell with a dangerous storm tide and battering waves to the south of the cyclone centre,” Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said in a statement.

ABC news reports that “North Queensland residents will be greeted by scenes of destruction at first light when the full impact of Cyclone Yasi is revealed.”

Just downgraded to a category 4 storm, high winds continue to batter homes, businesses and public areas. Australians are dug in and now being cut off from the outside world as power lines go down and communication is disrupted. Still, those with a signal are getting the word out and the world prepares to help, communicating with friends and loved ones via Twitter and Facebook.Social media platforms are jumping over Yasi too. On Twitter, using the hashtag #Yasi and #TCYasi, user @StudioLaville urges those who can help to register even before the storm passes:

Retweet! Register your ability to help or need for help at Help North Queensland. Free. http://helpnorthqueensland.com #Yasi #TCYasi

Still 180 kph readings in Queensland #yasi

On Facebook, more than 40,000 people have joined the Cyclone Yasi Update page which added:

Police in Mackay and Gladstone have had no major incidents reported to them as a result of the cyclone at this early stage. (please keep in mind there will be a lot of unknowns until first light) (Julie)

Tully devastated – winds very strong before and after the eye passed. Many many roofs off, as Larry did to Innisfail. People seeking refuge in their cars. Councilor Ross Cabello who has witnessed many cyclones, said this was far and away the worst he’s ever seen. He states that there are many, many houses damaged – roofs destroyed. (Chris)

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