Cyclone Yasi communities must not be forgotten

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As the one year anniversary of Cyclone Yasi approaches, Red Cross is continuing to help people in Far North Queensland rebuild their lives and communities through community development and personal and practical outreach support.

Red Cross Queensland Emergency Services Manager, Carolyn Parsons, said many people affected by Cyclones Yasi and Anthony still have a long way to go in their recovery journey and communities in Far North Queensland continue to need support.

"With the attention on the challenges for Queenslanders following last year's devastating floods and this summer's heavy rainfall, we must not forget the thousands of people in the north of the state who were impacted by Cyclone Yasi, one of the most destructive storms in recent history," said Ms Parsons.

Over the past year, Red Cross staff and volunteers working in some of the worst affected areas, including Mission Beach, Tully, Japoonvale and Cardwell, have visited more than 12,000 households.

"As part of our recovery program, we are urging people to be aware of the longer term psychological impacts of the disaster. For many the anniversary will be a celebration of how far they have come in the year since the disaster occurred. For others the anniversary will be a stressful time, as heightened interest in the event leads people to reflect on the disruption caused to their lives," said Ms Parsons.

"For a lot of people in Far North Queensland the last year has been a tough one as they have had to reconstruct not just houses and businesses but also rebuild whole communities. This second part of the equation can often be the hardest part to achieve, especially when there has been dislocation as people have shifted away from the some of the worst affected areas.

"We have continually been impressed by the strength and resilience of Queenslanders affected by the natural disasters that hit the state last year. Nonetheless, the recovery challenge is enormous and the people affected continue to need support from their communities and from organisations like Red Cross."

The cyclone caused huge upheaval in Far North Queensland. In response to the crisis, Red Cross assisted more than 19,000 people working in 12 evacuation centres in northern Queensland and providing registration services. Across the state, more than 1,400 Red Cross staff and volunteers have worked in disaster relief and recovery over the past 12 months.

Queensland communities affected by Cyclone Yasi continue to require a high level of ongoing support. To find out how you can support Red Cross emergency services work, visit Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery. Red Cross also produces a wide range of resources to assist people in the recovery from an emergency.

For media inquiries call James Molan on 0448 571 484 or email.