I was alone in the house last Saturday when I began reading Sophie Cunningham’s Warning, The Story of Cyclone Tracy, and a windstorm was brewing. It was gusting up to almost 60kh/h, which is 7 on the Beaufort scale, almost a gale. I went outside and did the usual things that I do when the weather seems ominous, stacking outdoor chairs away and tucking the cast-iron table upside-down under the shrubs at the back of the house. I was very conscious that short of evacuating the city altogether, nothing much the residents of Darwin could have done would have made any difference when in 1974 the city was hit by a cyclone packing 217 km/h before the anemometer ceased functioning. You only have to look at this video to see the destruction.
In the prologue to Warning, the facts are presented without emotion:
These are the bare bones of it: around midnight…
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