Southsea diving instructor caught up in devastation caused by Cyclone Debbie

A diving instructor from Southsea has revealed how he has been caught up in Cyclone Debbie while living in Australia.

Saturday, 1st April 2017, 6:01 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 7:00 pm
Paddy Moore

Paddy Moore said he has been left without power or water after the Category 4 storm hit his home earlier this week.

The 32-year-old, who has been working in Airlie Beach in Queensland for the past eight months, told The News he might be forced to move on when the cyclone passes.

He said: ‘We’ve had no power and water, it’s currently cut off due to severe flooding and damage to the town.

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The effects of Cyclone Debbie

‘I’ve been using water from the swimming pool to wash and for the toilets, but everyone is helping each other out. Spirits are high and positive.

‘The clean-up has started, but it’s going to be a long road to recovery for the area.’

Pictures posted by Paddy on social media show how the storm has damaged buildings and ripped trees out of the ground.

He also posted a short video showing trees being battered by the strong winds.

The effects of Cyclone Debbie

Many roads in and out of the area have been blocked by debris, making travel difficult for residents.

Paddy said: ‘I’ve been coping okay, using a gas barbecue to cook food and boil water.

‘I’m fine as I’m only travelling, but I really feel for people whose lives are here.

‘Homes and businesses have been destroyed.’

This week the storm reached speeds of more than 160mph.

Since arriving on the north Queensland coast, it has travelled down to the state capital Brisbane.

Paddy flew out from Portsmouth to work as a diving instructor on the Great Barrier Reef.

He added: ‘I will probably have to leave when the roads re-open to go stay with friends.

‘I don’t think I’ll be able to work here for a few months.

‘I won’t need to come home, but it has made money an issue until I relocate and find work again.

‘I’ve had lots of support from friends and family back home, especially my mum.’

At least one woman has died during the disaster.

The Guardian reported that the army had come to the Airlie Beach region to distribute 24,000 litres of water.

It is estimated that the total cost of the cyclone is likely run into hundreds of millions of pounds.