For the second time in less than a year, the Lizard Island Research Station has been in the path of a cyclone that required everyone to evacuate to Cairns. See Cyclone Nathan Part 1 and Part 2, and Cyclone Ita (April 2014).
The good news: Once again there was no structural damage to any of the Station buildings. Saltwater reticulation to the aquaria continued through the evacuation period and there was no loss of live research specimens. The phones and internet are still working.
The not-so-good news: The overall impact was similar to Cyclone Ita. A lot of work will need to be done around the Station over the coming weeks and months, fixing windows, clearing tracks, lopping trees, removing sand, cleaning and repainting walls, restoring shade cloth and repairing equipment. Normal research operations will be disrupted during this period.
Lizard Island is an ideal location for field research on the Great Barrier Reef. Cyclones like Nathan and Ita illustrate the difficulty of maintaining facilities there. Scientific research could not continue at Lizard Island without LIRRF donor support – see Why Donate.
I’m glad everyone is OK and most of your infrastructure survived Nathan. That’s a lot of sand to clean up 🙂 Good luck with it