• Short Summary

    The South Australian capital of Adelaide is still standing despite dire warnings that it would be obliterated on Monday (19 January)
    But the next day (20 January) a disaster did hit the Antipodean hinterland -- in the form of Cyclone David which wrought widespread destruction along the south Queensland coast.

  • Description

    The South Australian capital of Adelaide is still standing despite dire warnings that it would be obliterated on Monday (19 January)
    But the next day (20 January) a disaster did hit the Antipodean hinterland -- in the form of Cyclone David which wrought widespread destruction along the south Queensland coast.

    The world wide publicity that pointed to Adelaide as a "doomed city" started earlier this month when house painter and self-styled clairvoyant, John Nash, announced that he had seen a vision in which Adelaide and its 800,000 inhabitants were obliterated by an earthquake and tidal wave.

    Nash said doomsday would be between 10.30 a.m. and noon on 19 January.

    He was so convinced by his vision that he sold his house and moved to another state. The widespread publicity caused panic in some other sections of the Adelaide community and many non English speaking migrants were also reported to have sold up and moved out of the city.

    But as the appointed hour for the disaster arrived and passed there was no earthquake, no tidal wave and Adelaide remained intact.

    About 2,000 fun and sun loving Australians waited on Glenelg beach near the city to meet their maker -- consoling themselves with ample supplies of cold canned beer.

    Among the crowd was the flamboyant South Australian Premier, Don Dunstan, who had promised to play King Canute and hold back the waves in a bid to quell any hysteria.

    But before the South Australians had finished laughing at what many called a fiasco, news of a cyclone heading for the Queensland coast flashed across the nation.

    Named David, the cyclone blew in from the Coral Sea of the north east coast of Australia and struck on Tuesday morning (20 January).

    Gigantic tides combined with gale force winds lashed the entire length of the southern Queensland coast leaving an estimated six million dollars (3 million pounds sterling) worth of damage in its wake.

    Retaining sea walls crumbled, roads disintegrated and people living near the sea front areas fought a losing battle to save their gardens and homes from flooding. Several boats and cabin cruisers were torn from their moorings and dashed to pieces against concrete piers.

    Trees were uprooted and golden sands were slurped into the raging ocean leaving beaches barren and desolate.

    Despite the widespread damage there were no reports of death or serious injury.

    SYNOPSIS: The nineteenth of January and there was a festive air as the people of Adelaide in South Australia prepared for "doomsday".

    Even the state's premier, Don Dunstan, turned up at Glenelg beach near the city to await the earthquake and tidal wave which was supposed to obliterate the city and its eight-hundred-thousand inhabitants.

    The warning came from a house painter and self-styled clairvoyant, John Nash, who publicly announced that the city's end was near.

    But the appointed time for doom came and went...and the two thousand waiting on the beach melted away...laughing.

    But before the laughing died down a catastrophe struck in another part of Australia.

    Cyclone David blew in from the Coral Sea and cruelly lashed the southern seashores of Queensland causing widespread flooding and an estimated six million dollars worth of damage to property.

    Roads were washed away and cars were swamped as huge tides overran the promenades.

    The State Emergency Services were called out and efforts were made to reinforce retaining walls.

    Boats were torn from their moorings and many were smashed against concrete piers.

    Most esplanades along the coastline were closed and residents from beach front homes watched helplessly as the swirling floodwaters engulfed their gardens an damaged their property.

    They tried to protect homes by reinforcing them with sandbags -- but their efforts were in vain ... Despite the widespread damage no lives were lost.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA9HRKPDFR6DGGW5FEY12HIPZOX
    Media URN:
    VLVA9HRKPDFR6DGGW5FEY12HIPZOX
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    21/01/1976
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:41:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

Comments (0)

We always welcome comments and more information about our films.
All posts are reactively checked. Libellous and abusive comments are forbidden.

Add your comment