Queensland towns remain cut off after Cyclone Yasi

More than five days after a category five cyclone battered northern Australia, help has still not reached some remote communities in Queensland.While loss of life has been minimal, Cyclone Yasi caused widespread damage to homes, roads, bridges and crops.The army has been cutting its way through mountains of debris to reach smaller townships and farms.Essential services are slowly being restored but some smaller communities have yet to receive the help they need.Andrew Wyatt from the State Emergency Service says the task – after the state’s worst storm in a century – is immense.”We have our defence force friends on the ground and they are pushing into the outlying communities, out around Kurrimine Beach, Mission Beach, Lower Tully.”There is a number of other communities that we are well aware of. We will get to you as quick as we possibly can. The job for us is huge.”The coastal town of Cardwell, south of Cairns, was very badly damaged.Karen Meacham was forced to shelter at a friend’s house 3km (two miles) inland during the cyclone.”We probably would have spent two or three hours in the hallway and then we were game enough to come out but you hear everyone talk about the roar. It is like a freight train coming for you. It is the most scariest thing that I have ever had to deal with.”Theo Molloy has been sifting through what’s left of his petrol station but he’s worried that that the main road that runs through Cardwell won’t be repaired quickly.”We are going to rebuild – that’s what we want to do, we want to stay in town. But the lifeblood of this place is the highway out front of us and my fear is that if they don’t get this highway going, up and going again that our future, we won’t have one.”The Australian government says that the impact of Cyclone Yasi and recent flooding in Queensland will affect economic growth during the first quarter of the year – BBC