10.19pm AEDST Just getting home from a dinner, and as lovely as it was, it seems totally superfluous when Far North Queensland is under attack from Mother Nature. SkyNews now on so I can be brought up to date. Now as big as Katrina, 10,000 people evacuated. Holy hell. I have no comprehension. Twitter is on fire with Aussies wanting to know more or share their knowledge. You can feel the love and support that is being sent FNQ's way.
The irony is that it is dead still in Sydney tonight – no wind, no rain - and I’m sweating as I sit here completely fixated on the tragedy unfolding up north…
I love Far North Queensland! Cairns is favourite city in Australia. Palm Cove is a slice of heaven right here on earth. And it’s the people of FNQ that makes it so special.
I have mixed feelings about all of the journo’s who’ve placed themselves in the path of Yasi. I get that it needs to be covered and that we all want to know more but there’s nothing heroic about putting yourself in danger.
10.29pm Anna Bligh press conference live. Her recall of detail and calmness of delivery I still find astounding. She must be so sick of the word ‘flood’. She has had to use it an unbelievable amount of times over the last month. Emergency services can’t get to people calling for help. Fuck.
Isn't it awful that some of the places that we are talking about tonight I've never heard of before. Same thing happened with the floods in South East Queensland. Awful that it takes a tragedy to put them on our map.
11.07pm. Nine acknowledges importance of social media to get information and images out. You betcha!
Yasi is 145km east of Cairns. Still predicted to hit land at midnight Qld time. Imagine being stuck in the dark, curled up in the floor of your bathroom, counting down till it hits. It would be excruciating. 1 hour 50 mins to go. All of the cyclone shelters are full. Over 60,000 homes without power.
What the...??? There are bushfires in Victoria??? What the hell is going on in this country???
11.32pm Anna is back. 89,000 without power. Waves reported at 18m, but not an accurate measure. "We are now seeing it building..." - how ominous is that. The caller mentioned earlier... 6 people in their 60's are in trouble. Water will come up to the floor of the second story of the house where they are trapped.
Winds of 290km per hour will hit...
This is all happening in the dark. Not only is power out every where but it is the dead of night. In my mind that adds a whole new level of fear. Not being able to see what is going on outside would mean your imagination would run wild. But on the other hand, it may be best not to be able to see.
"We are waiting anxiously with you... we'll be thinking of you every minute and every hour until daylight..." Anna Bligh signing off for the night. She is a remarkable woman.
11.49pm Power goes out in Bowen. SkyNews have switched to generator. My beautiful in-laws have a hotel in Bowen and the doors have been opened to offer shelter to locals. Fortunately for our family they are not there but are much further down the coast. They are not in danger. I'm watching coverage as an outsider, unlike so many who have loved ones in the area.
Cardwell resident on phone feels she really didn't have a choice to evacuate. Eight adults and three children in her house. She knows of other people in the town in the same position.
12.07am When it hits it will spread 1000km's down the Queensland coast.
12.19am I feel awful that I am deserting FNQ but tucking myself into my comfortable bed, unlike those in the evacuation centres or in their bathrooms who can't. What the hell will we wake up to? I shudder to think. I'm not a religious man by any stretch of the imagination, but whatever higher power is in control here I ask you to be as gentle as possible with the people of FNQ. Mother Nature I'm talking to you!