Thanks to dry soil, Queensland’s coastal areas may have escaped the worst of Cyclone Yasi.
Yasi, a category 5 cyclone, pummelled Queensland’s coast yesterday, delivering 290 kilometre per hour winds – 10km/h faster than Hurricane Katrina which devastated New Orleans in 2005. Once it had hit the coast, Yasi continued moving inland but was severely weakened. Shortly after hitting the coast Australia’s Bureau of Meterology announced that Yasi had been downgraded to a tropical low, the lowest of the cyclone categories, with gusts of up to 90 km/h.
It seems that if soil is is very wet it no longer absorbs water which increases the chance of flooding. Fortunately, Cyclone Yasi hit areas where the soils are the driest. And as predicted, no flooding has been reported. Read more here.
On another note, mangroves may be the unlikely winners from Australia’s recent floods, benefitting from the nutrient-rich sediment that was washed into their forests. They may very well experience a growth spurt. Read more here.