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Cyclone Debbie impacts Great Barrier Reef: Report
After suffering back-to-back severe coral bleaching, the Great Barrier Reef has had to cope with another devastating blow — Cyclone Debbie. Ferocious winds moving at speeds of up to 260 kilometer per hour tore through the Whitsunday Islands and made landfall at Airlie Beach. Local researchers and reporters went underwater to examine the destruction caused by the cyclone.
The cyclone snapped off branches and lifted up and threw aside massive pieces of coral. Local tour operators portrayed a disheartening picture of the broken reef.
After the cyclone, a female crew member said, “It’s worse than we thought it would be. It’s not even in long pieces, it’s completely ground up. It’s just barren. This is mother nature in all her wrath.”
What made the Debbie Cyclone’s impact so much devastating was the fact it was moving extremely slow, whirling through the widely popular north Queensland islands for more than a couple of days.
The timing of the cyclone couldn’t have been worse for the Great Barrier Reef, simply because it came just after scientists discovered that two-thirds of the coral reef suffered bleaching due to climate change.