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Translators sought for Cyclone warnings (Brisbane)

Hi InterNations members,

I'm appealing to your community spirit here! The Qld Police Service is still looking to get some help from international people to translate the Premier's media briefings on Cyclone Yasi for the next 24 hours. As of today the Premier has given a couple of media updates that are viewable via YouTube.

It would be good if we could post transcripts in different languages on the Qld Police Service's Facebook page so international tourists can access information in their language if needed. I've just done German, a friend is doing Portuguese ... any other volunteers with other languages??!

This would need to happen fairly quickly - the sooner the better. The updates will happen all day tomorrow (Wednesday 3 Feb). The Cyclone is about to hit the greater Cairns region by Thursday 1am and it's going to have a massive impact!

I've copied in below the English transcript of the latest media briefing (Tuesday 2 Feb 3:30pm). If you're interested send me the translated version of that and I'll pass it on to the Qld Police Service.

For future media briefings tomorrow at approximately 9am, 1pm and 3.30pm watch this space: Protected content

If you have any questions call me on Protected content email Protected content .

Thanks for your help!
InterNations Ambassador Brisbane

Premier Anna Bligh:
(At 00:20 on video timeline)
Okay folks, we’re right, we’re rolling. Ok. (to the media)
The current tracking of Cyclone Yasi has the cycleone set to land slightly closer to Cairns that we anticipated this morning. The cyclone continues to intensify and we continue to expect to see it at around the 1am mark on Thursday morning.
After quite a bit of work by the Bureau of Meteorology and storm surge experts this afternoon, we have been able to see a slight revising down of the likely level of the storm surge. Councils have been able to do more precise mapping of those areas where they will need mandatory evacuations.
Councils from Cook through to Hinchinbrook have now all implemented mandatory evacuation directions. The people who are out door-knocking talking to people in those areas about relocations will, in the high risk areas on the revised storm surge figures, be issuing directives for people to relocate.
In the first instance, people will be required to make arrangements to relocate with friends, family or workmates. We do understand that there will be some people in some of these areas who are unable to source accommodation with a friend or family member, including some people who may be visitors or tourists to the region. Cairns of course is a very big tourist destination.
Arrangements are being put in place to provide emergency accommodation for those people who are unable to access other forms of friends or family to relocate with. People who are unable to find other accommodation should register with the following phone line to alert police and authorities to their need for accommodation: Protected content . Facilities will be put in place and activated either overnight in some cases or early tomorrow morning.
In relation to the evacuation of the Cairns Base Hospital and the Cairns Private Hospital, eleven planes have now been sourced to undertake this exercise. Two of those are Australian Defence Force planes. The others include Royal Flying Doctor Service facilities and Government Airwing. The first plane will arrive in Cairns around 7 pm this evening and we will expect to see then a steady round of flights landing and taking patients and bringing them to Brisbane. This is a large exercise that will be conducted throughout the evening and into the early hours of tomorrow morning.
Can I say that of course, we understand that not only will patients be anxious about this but also their friends and family and loved ones, this will be quite a nervous time. Can I reassure them that these evacuations will be done by experienced people who regularly evacuate people in extreme medical circumstances. The Royal Flying Doctor Service for example is often evacuating for medical assistance, some of the sickest and most dangerously ill patients in Queensland, and do so safely almost every day of the week.
The hospitals that these patients are going to are major Brisbane Hospitals, where arrangements are being made for their particular needs. So can I just say to people that of course we understand that this will cause some anxiety. It is only being done to make sure that very ill, very vulnerable patients are in the safest place possible.
(inaudible question from journalist)
The first plane is due to arrive in Cairns around 7pm. You could expect with patients who are ill, that some time will be taken to load them on, and then about a two hour flight. So I expect that we’d start to see the first planes land around 10pm tonight.
(inaudible lengthy question from journalist)
I’ll invite the Deputy Commissioner to make some specific comments. I should just add that we have in addition now evacuated Protected content from nursing homes in the region.
Deputy Commissioner Ian Stewart:
(at 4:56 on video timeline)
Thank you Premier. Can I firstly say how grateful I am to the mayors of all of the areas from the Cook Shire down to Hinchinbrook for having a consistent view on the safety of the communities that they serve.
This is a very very important decision, in committing to mandatory evacuations. I hope that the communities in those areas, in the high risk storm-tide areas, will now see the potential danger that they’re in and take heed of that, and in fact self-evacuate way before they’re ever asked to do so.
Obviously there’s a big job in going to all of these areas, and talking to the residents, giving them information and helping them to make decisions in relation to the mandatory nature now that has been committed to by all of those mayors.
In terms of Cairns specifically, there is very very good data available to us. In fact only about half an hour ago I was looking at the electronic maps of Cairns which show inundation up to the two metre mark. With the revised figures from BOM 1 I understand that will be in the vicinity of the number of houses or the areas that will be inundated. Now I can’t give you specific street names, but certainly I have seen the map and it is still quite extensive.
(inaudible question from journalist)
Metropolitan Cairns has got a significant amount of inundation at the two metre mark above HAT which is Highest Astronomical Tide.
(inaudible question from journalist)
Certainly all of that CBD, behind the CBD area, and to the south of the CBD to the Inlet is certainly inundated at that level.
But I need to stress, that we need to wait until we get the final new analysis by BOM through. We’ve had verbal advice in relation to their revised figures, and whilst it is good news in one way as it is less that what we had originally been told less than a day ago because of the changing circumstances, it is still dangerous in terms of the amount of inundation that area.
(inaudible question from journalist)
Some of the shires have very specific mapping capability and statistics on this. For Cairns just in the CBD and northern areas I think the figures are in the Protected content range, but that’s at two metre HAT2. And as I said, I don’t want to be too specific because with the new figures from BOM obviously that may differ to a degree. But certainly the Cairns LDMG3 is banking on significant thousands of people needing to be evacuated out of those areas.
(inaudible question from journalist)
Premier Bligh:
The alternative medical provision will be in Cairns - because of the temporary closure of the hospital and the evacuation – will be at Fretwell Park Sports Complex on Robert Road in Edmonton, in South Cairns. An emergency department will start operating out of the Fretwell Park Sports Complex from 9am tomorrow morning4. So the hospital is still open overnight for emergency department services, but from 9am tomorrow morning, Fretwell Park Sports Complex in Edmonton will be the site of the medical and emergency services. That is being fitted out this afternoon and overnight.
(inaudible question from journalist)
Yes, it’s a very large complex.
(inaudible question from journalist)
No, no its not a decrease in the intensity of the cyclone. But the modelling shows that because we’re now more confident that it will arrive at low tide, and modelling around winds and other information, the storm surge will be lower than originally anticipated. There will still be a storm surge. It is likely to be around two to two and a half metres above the highest tide, and that is still a very serious situation. But it will affect a less number of houses than a higher storm surge.
(inaudible question from journalist)
There were some parts where it could have got to six metres, and others where it would have been four. So it’s come down significantly, but it will nevertheless impact significant numbers of people.
(inaudible question from journalist)
Deputy Commission Ian Stewart:
Certainly our latest advice is it is a Category 4. It is close to Willis Island. In fact past Willis Island on its way towards the coast. And it is still tracking to near Cairns.
Premier Bligh:
It’s tracking just slightly north of where it was tracking this morning, if you go and have a look at the 2pm track.
(inaudible question from journalist)
No, 50 kilometres.
Tomorrow morning’s cyclone modelling will give a level of precision around a 50 kilometre either way mark. That’s still quite a large margin of error, and that’s the nature of these sort of events. At 5pm tomorrow afternoon, that will be revised further and we would hope again to be in a narrower band. These large cyclones can move even a small amount and effect a very different and signifant error.
Okay, thank you folks.
I just urge everybody again, if you are contacted by Emergency Services or Police and asked to relocate yourself and your family, please take this warning seriously. This is a VERY SIGNIFICANT and serious, and potentially life-threatening cyclone.
END OF MEDIA CONFERENCE. (video end at 11:17)

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