What were the social impacts of Cyclone Yasi in Australia?

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

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I would have to say that one of the social impacts of the Cyclone was that Australia showed a tremendous resolve on a national level.  Media reports were out in full force early on that this storm could be "one of the worst" of all time.  Even before the storm hit, there were precautions taken such as airlifting people from impacted hospitals as well as massive warnings to evacuate homes and areas in the projected path.  There was little in way of distinction between areas, as many areas participated in helping and assisting those affected.  There was a resolve to get people motivated about the nature of the cyclone and seek to broaden the social implications of it so that it was not merely seen as "that place's problem."  Premier Bligh went out of her way to stress that since the exact path of the cyclone is not known, everyone needs to be alerted and be vigilant because of the fact it could be a "deadly event."  The social cohesion was also seen in the fact that animals were airlifted out of impacted areas and airlines added flights to accommodate people leaving out of Queensland.  The social impact of the cyclone seems to be a great deal of resolve to raise national awareness to the event, seeking to broaden the impact of it to one where all Australians are on the watch.  When contrasted with the social fragmentation that happened after and during Hurricane Katrina in the United States, one is left to marvel at how unified the nation was in defense against Cyclone Yasi.

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