I still have blogs to write about my adventures over the last few months, and I will be getting back to those in a few days. For now though, I thought it would be worthwhile updating my friends back home on what’s been happening here over the past week as whilst UK media has covered aspects of it, it is always worthwhile hearing about it from the source.
As Cyclone Debbie passed down Queensland and into northern NSW last week, there was an unprecedented amount of rainfall and wind, so much so that the Tweed River burst its banks and contributed to some of the worst cases of flooding in over half a century. The worst affected areas were Murwillumbah, Chinderah and most towns that are located on the Tweed. Further south, Lismore was also terribly affected and left most of the CBD underwater.
As someone from the UK, I have seen some bad instances of flooding, though never have I myself been directly affected by it. This was beyond anything I have ever seen. There were pictures of bullsharks and snakes being washed up, cars floating down the street and people’s houses completely and utterly destroyed. Although some of these areas are used to some flooding, nobody could have possibly predicted the extent of what actually happened.
Today, me and some friends drove through Mooball, Burringbar and Murwullimbah and the scenes were absolutely heart-breaking. The most harrowing aspect was seeing all of the debris outside of people’s houses piled up, damaged and useless. There were cars in people’s back gardens, cemented fence panels ripped from the ground and trees littered on the sides of the roads. We even saw a bridge completely collapsed on the way through Burringbar.
Despite the carnage though, there was a good spirit in the air. Much of the clean-up had already been done and the relief effort by both the SES and the locals seemed to be in full swing. There were neighbours helping neighbours and Hare Krishna groups handing out food to people in the town. In spite of everything, there was a lot of love and positivity being spread around, which is a testament to the true nature of being human.
In a way, it helps you look at people as they really are. The facades are thrown to the side, grievances and personal issues are curbed in order to focus on the people who need help the most. These natural disasters have a way of bringing people together and proving that none of our petty shit really matters when it comes down to it. At the end of the day, it’s all about doing our best to get by and being there for others when the going gets tough.
It’s going to be pretty tough for the next few months for the victims of the floods, and the best way to get behind them is by offering help in any way you can. I’m going to put some links below for information on how to volunteer or donate to the cause and to the SES who did a fantastic job helping people evacuate and getting people to safety. Another way to contribute now would be to use local businesses as much as you can. It’s not always easy or even possible to avoid the big chains, but these businesses will need support now more than ever in the aftermath of the cyclone and the flood, so any extra support I’m sure will be greatly appreciated.
I’m personally going to donate to SES and I want to encourage anyone else to give what they can to this awesome organisation or to anyone involved with helping those who were victims of Cyclone Debbie. You never know when you may need their services yourself.
Thanks for reading!