Donations roll in after Cyclone Larry

The St Vincent de Paul Society has received more than $60,000 in donations to assist victims of Cyclone Larry which devastated far north Queensland last month.

The town of Innisfail was worst hit after winds up to 290 km per hour caused more than $1 billion damage to property and crops.

The Catholic Leader reports that a St Vincent de Paul spokeswoman in Brisbane said the society had been inundated with donations of cash and other goods, with the first load of goods sent to Innisfail last week.

This would provide emergency support to those affected by Cyclone Larry.

St Vincent de Paul Society state president John Campbell said the key concern was the long term issues that would arise from the cyclone devastation. He said many people had been left homeless and would now need to rebuild their lives.

He said the St Vincent de Paul Society would be there to support them and offer material and financial assistance.

Father Frank Gordon of Innisfail's Good Counsel Parish said the cyclone's impact on 20 March was "like being on a sailing ship on a stormy sea. One minute we were on the top deck, the next down below."

Innisfail's parish manager, Richard Giuliany, said the social and financial impact on the diocese is not yet known. He said at stake is the viability of the Catholic schools with numbers of students at the functioning schools dropping sharply.

"There is so much destruction, such a loss of communications that it's impossible to know if families have been relocated out of the area, or whether they are being kept at home to help with the cleanup," he said.

People can still make cash donations to St Vincent de Paul's cyclone relief fund by calling 131 812.

Donations roll in after cyclone (Catholic Leader 9/4/06)
Australian Catholics fight rain, flooding during cyclone recovery (NZ Catholic/Catholic News Service 9/4/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
St Vincent de Paul Society
Diocese of Cairns

Cyclone bolsters General Cosgrove's Catholic faith (CathNews 31/3/06)
Queensland schools launch appeal for cyclone victims (CathNews 24/3/06)
Cyclone-struck diocese prays for victims (CathNews 23/3/06)
Vinnies to support areas worst hit by Larry (CathNews 22/3/06)

Australian Catholics fight rain, flooding during cyclone recovery (Catholic News Service 7/4/06)

10 Apr 2006