Queensland, April 2014

Cyclone Ita, 2014

Tropical cyclone Ita crossed Queensland near Cape Flattery on 11 April 2014 as a Category 4 storm, with wind gusts of up to 230 kilometres per hour. Ita quickly weakened as it travelled inland, but not before its destructive winds and rain caused extensive damage.

Rainfall totals of up to 400 millimetres in a 24 hour period were recorded as the system moved south along the Queensland coast. Flooding in several rivers and streams impacted a number of coastal and inland towns. Sugarcane and banana plantations were flattened, while tomato and eggplant crops were also affected.

Flooding also damaged and, in some cases, completely cut off roads and rail networks. Early estimates by the Queensland Government indicated that $50 million of repair work would need to be undertaken on damaged roads and bridges.

Lizard Island was evacuated on the eve of the cyclone. Structural damage resulted in the closure of the holiday resort until April 2015.

Evacuation centres and cyclone shelters housed more than 1,000 people, while power was restricted to more than 46,000 customers. There were 560 requests for State Emergency Service assistance and 383 people required personal/trauma counselling support.

Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payments were available to residents from Cooktown, Hope Vale, Wujal Wujal and Laura, with $397,200 scheduled to be paid. The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) declared a catastrophe for parts of north Queensland. Initial figures from the ICA estimated the preliminary damage at $8.4 million.


ABC News 2014, ‘Cyclone Ita: Storm hits far north Queensland’, 12 April 2014, website viewed 14 April 2014.
Insurance Council of Australia, media release, Insurance Council declares catastrophe for Severe Tropical Cyclone Ita, 12 April 2014.
Lizard Island.com.au, ‘Opening Update', website viewed 18 December 2014.
Queensland Government Department of Local Government, Community Recovery and Resilience, Severe Tropical Cyclone Ita Recovery Plan, 11 June 2014, website viewed 9 October 2014.