Darwin destroyed? ... an exaggeration
by Bryan Pulham
I was one of the few who slept through much of the cyclone (although awoken at regular intervals by my excitable room mate) and awoke in the morning with a roof still over my head and not even a pane of glass broken in the sleep-out of the guest house where I was staying close to the business centre of Darwin.
I viewed for myself, whole suburbs that were largely flattened but I also know of a two storey house that had a demolition order placed on it and was still standing after the cycle.
Most buildings in the business district survived with moderate or superficial damage.
I don't wish to detract from the horror night experienced by those who were in the suburbs, but to say that "Cyclone Tracy destroyed the City of Darwin" is a huge exaggeration.
Interestingly, it appeared that many a suburban roof lifted off in one piece (before shattering when it hit the ground or something solid) and then the walls fell apart at the corners. I suspect that a number of contractors and carpenters took less care, then they should have, with the numbers and types of fastenings that held the factory built frames and roof trusses together. I suspect that large numbers of Darwin's building tradesmen are holding on to guilty secrets.