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Rock and tempest : surviving Cyclone Tracy and its aftermath

ISBN: 9780733650239
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Hachette Australia; (ADS)
Origin: AU
Release Date: June, 2024

Book Details

When Cyclone Tracy flattened Darwin on Christmas Day 1974, it was the worst natural disaster Australians had ever experienced. Stationed in the city with the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service, Patricia Collins not only lived through Tracy but was part of the massive clean-up effort. This is her extraordinary story. The experience of living through a terrifying natural disaster is chillingly told by Collins as she recounts her own dark hours that Christmas along with those of her contemporaries. They sat huddled in doorways and bathtubs as the winds raged, lifting off roofs, picking up cars and sinking ships. Most of the city was destroyed. Seventy-one people died. The Navy suffered terrible losses. A Navy patrol boat was sunk with the loss of two crewmen and another patrol boat was driven onto rocks. A sailor lost his wife and two children, and another lost his young son. In the days after Tracy, the majority of Darwin’s population was evacuated interstate just as the Navy’s Task Force arrived to clean up and rebuild. Collins was there as a survivor of Tracy and now an integral part of the recovery. In Rock and Tempest , she has gathered extraordinary first-person accounts of terror and uncertainty as well as courage and survival. The cyclone’s devastating aftermath tested the mettle of many. It is arguable that the template for Australians’ responses to the ongoing natural disasters of the past few years was made in Darwin in 1974. We look for answers and stories to help us deal with those natural disasters and manage them better next time.