.: Significant Weather Events :.


Tropical Cyclones Affecting Darwin

(Source: Murphy 1984)

Over the years many tropical cyclones have passed close to Darwin bringing heavy rain and on occasions strong wind, but little recorded damage. The following list includes only those cyclones which had a significant impact on the population centre.

Jan 1882 Strong gales hit Darwin with severe damage to many buildings.

Jan 1897 Remembered as the Great Hurricane. Violent winds with torrential rain flattened the township and decimated the pearling fleet. At least 28 lives were lost and natural vegetation destroyed over a wide area.

Dec 1915 Severe damage in Darwin harbour with three vessels sunk and two others badly damaged. Widespread destruction of trees around Charles Point.

Apr 1917 Moderate damage caused to buildings in Darwin. Many trees destroyed north of the town. Sampan sunk near Port Blaze with three lives lost.

Mar 1919 Two sailing vessels sunk in Darwin harbour along with several smaller boats. Building damage at Charles Point lighthouse. Hurricane winds and severe storm surge destroyed the Bathurst Island Mission, where a baby was drowned.

Mar 1937 Darwin township was severely damaged by hurricane force winds. Huge seas ran in the harbour, and several boats were stranded. Widespread destruction of the vegetation.

Dec 1948 Severe gales caused moderate damage in Darwin. Damage was more severe on the Tiwi Islands. A fishing vessel was wrecked near Melville Island and the crew of 10 drowned.

Dec 1974 Cyclone Tracy. City of Darwin devastated, with 65 people killed and majority of 45,000 population left homeless. At least 90% of homes either demolished or badly damaged. Natural vegetation around Darwin laid bare.

Mar 1981 Cyclone Max. Gales in Darwin with considerable garden damage but only superficial building damage. Cyclone Max is notable for the fact that it was the first cyclone to pass through Darwin following Cyclone Tracy, and the response of the local people to the warnings was remarkable



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