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Cyclone Tracy

What was Darwin like before Cyclone Tracy hit in 1974?

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December 24, 2008 3:31AM

Before Cyclone Tracy hit in 1974, Darwin had a population of 48, 000 residents. Darwin had grown rapidly in the post-war years, and many houses, though comfortable, were not made to withstand cyclonic forces. A lot of houses were raised off the ground, to catch the sea breezes in the high humidity. This meant that in a cyclone, winds could get underneath and literally lift the house off its supporting poles. There were a lot of Aboriginal shanty-town settlements on the fringes of the city, and their housing was completely inadequate for a climate where cyclones could hit.