What are interesting facts about Cyclone Tracy?

  • Cyclone Tracy formed as a tropical storm in the Arafura Sea
  • It hit Darwin in the early hours of Christmas Day, 25 December 1974, and had dissipated by about 7am
  • The wind gauge at Darwin Airport officially recorded winds of 217 kilometres per hour before being blown away itself
  • It was a category 4 storm whilst still out at sea, but there are suggestions that it was category 5 when it made landfall
  • "Officially" 65 people were killed, but entire Aboriginal settlements were wiped out, and these people never accounted for
  • 9,000 homes were destroyed, out of 12,000 residences
  • Most of Darwin's residents were evacuated following the devastation, and many of them never returned
  • The city was almost entirely rebuilt, and now meets cyclone standards
  • The bureaucratic red tape which prevented efficient reconstruction of Darwin was largely responsible for the Territory being granted self-government 4 years later.