Australian Aboriginal News & Current Affairs The most up-to-date and relevant news stories regarding Aboriginal culture

Do you want to be the owner of this superb concert class Didj? Just answer our Questionnaire

Win a Concert Class Didj!

Visit The Didjshop - the largest and most extensive virtual didjeridu shop

Have a read of the comments left by visitors to the didjshop

Now to the story...

Croker Island reeling after cyclone

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 14 March 2005

Cyclone Ingrid has left the 200 residents of Croker Island, about 200 kilometres north-east of Darwin, with no running water and only enough food for two days.

The cyclone struck Croker early yesterday and its devastating path across the island can be seen from the air, with trees stripped bare for kilometres.

The Jarbu fishing lodge is obliterated and most buildings are extensively damaged, including the school and teachers' accommodation.

Survivors say they cannot believe no-one was killed or injured.

Power lines have been extensively damaged on Croker Island and at Nguiu on Bathurst Island but the power houses were not affected.

Croker residents are using their bare hands and limited machinery to clear access for Power and Water Authority workers who are expected to land this afternoon.


Power and Water Corporation contractors have flown to a number of communities on the Tiwi Islands to restore lines. But wind has prevented them from flying to Melville Island.

The corporation's Bertram Birk says power lines and the power house that services Milikapiti and Pirlangimpi are damaged.

"We've got the planes all on stand-by, we just need clearances to get there, with both staff and contractors," he said.

"But we really need to do an assessment on the ground so we can clearly document what materials we need and make arrangements to get them over there."

Contact has been re-established with all remote communities in the Northern Territory's Top End.

Police were most concerned about the Milikapati community, which does not have a police presence.

The core of the cyclone passed close by, with winds reaching more than 200 kilometres per hour.

But Northern Territory police say that while the community has no power or water, it received minimal structural damage.

In Nguiu, a house and store were damaged and in Pirlangimpi a house was flattened.

Parts of the school roof are missing at Snake Bay.

Cost unclear

Police say they are unable to put a figure on the cost of cyclone damage to communities.

But Commander Max Pope says a pearling operation at Nhulunbuy, on the north-east coast of Arnhem Land, suffered about $1 million damage.

Commander Pope says six vessels in the pearling fleet were sunk or damaged when the operation took a direct hit from the cyclone.

Meanwhile, a recovery team will be sent to Elcho Island, off the north Arnhem Land coast to rescue ten people who were stranded after Ingrid lashed the region.

Heavy rain cut roads to the community, so the residents were unable to return.

Commander Pope says that, while they do not have much shelter, the residents do have some supplies.

The Bureau of Meteorology says Cyclone Ingrid has completely crossed the Tiwi Islands and is now in the Timor Sea.

Ingrid is still listed as a category 3 cyclone.

It is moving west-south-west at 10 kilometres an hour, away from Darwin.

A cyclone warning continues for coastal and island communities between Cape Hotham and Daly rivermouth, including the Tiwi Islands and Darwin.

A cyclone watch extends south-west to Mitchell Plateau in Western Australia.

Return to Top

Return to The Didjshop's Aboriginal News Web Log

Links to other web sites about Aboriginal Australia

Visit The Didjshop

Check out the world's coolest shop for didgeridoos

Click here to receive occasional email Newsletters from The Didjshop

The Didgeridoo Specialist - founder of