Cyclone Yasi - Update Friday 4 Feb
Friday, 04 February 2011 18:50
Friday 4 February:
Hideaway Resorts, operator of Dunk and Bedarra Island Resorts, today continued the task of relocating staff to the mainland in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Yasi.
All Bedarra and Dunk staff, other than a skeleton crew have now been transferred to Mission Beach, for on transfer to Cairns, now that the roads are open
(or already to Cairns by helicopter).
Communications with the islands remain a major issue, with power and landlines out, and intermittent mobile communication only, making it difficult to provide up to date information.
There has been speculation about the circumstances resulting in staff remaining on the islands prior to TC Yasi hitting the islands.
Preparations were undertaken in line with established cyclone procedures, which do not typically include provision for mass evacuation of staff (the resorts typically re-open 3 – 4 days after a cyclone has passed the islands).
All remaining guests and those staff scheduled to leave the islands on Monday, 31 January or Tuesday, 1 February did so, with the last leaving either by plane at 1pm, or boat transfer to Mission Beach at 3pm on Tuesday, 1 February. At this time, our best information was that TC Yasi was heading north towards Cairns as a possible category 4 (upgraded from a category 3 forecast earlier in the day) and Dunk’s Resort General Manager and Bedarra's Acting General Manager had not at this time been approached by any staff requesting to leave the island.
Early on Wednesday, the cyclone started heading south west and increased to a possible category 5. At this point, those remaining were committed to stay, with no safe option to leave the islands. Staff were located in cyclone rated accommodation and all times remained there safely until the cyclone passed.
As previously advised it is too early to say for how long the resorts will be need to be closed to undertake necessary clean up and repairs, with property assessments hampered by weather conditions and safety considerations, as well as the prioritization of the staff re-location.
Those with bookings made for travel prior to 31 August 2011 are being cancelled (without penalty), with further updates to follow in this regard.