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Australia learns from US

Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:08 pm

Australian government responds quickly to storm

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The emergencies were startlingly similar: a huge, swirling storm bearing down on coastal areas with frightening inevitability.

Within a few hours of the most powerful cyclone in decades hitting Australia's northeastern coast Monday, state and federal governments had declared a state of emergency, prepared Black Hawk helicopters to run rescue missions and announced cash payouts for victims.

Emergency relief officials said they had studied the response to Hurricane Katrina last year — and learned what not to do.

The storms — hurricanes are called cyclones in the region — looked and felt the same, down to naming rights. This one was called Larry.

How embarrasing for us!! :oops: Thank God our utter incompetence in this case will benefit others.