What was the economic impact of Cyclone Yasi in Australia?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Cyclone Yasi was intensely powerful in terms of measuring its economic impact to Australia. At total damages estimated at close to 3.6 billion dollars, its economic impact is substantial.  Accounts vary, but its overall damage as measured by insurers puts it as one of the worst to ever hit Australia.  Along with Cyclone Tracy's immense damage to Darwin, Yasi is on record as one of the most brutal.  Its high level winds and sustained power on land made it extremely damaging from an economic point of view.  This was not merely in insurance payouts.  Cyclone Yasi is estimated to have destroyed about 15% of all sugar crops in Australia.  The area of Queensland faced the most destruction in this domain, losing close to 50% of its sugar fields as a result of the cyclone:

"While it is too early to assess the full damage bill, initial indications show that damage could be in the order of 50 percent of the productive potential of the region," said Steve Greenwood, chief executive of Queensland's Canegrowers organization.

With estimates of close to 500 million dollars in lost sugar cane generated revenue, I think that this becomes another area where Cyclone Yasi's economic impact was brutal on the Australian economy.

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