Tuesday, 20 March 2007

About 400 people have gathered in Innisfail to mark the first anniversary of Cyclone Larry. Residents and dignitaries packed into the Johnstone Shire Council hall - still undergoing repair work - for an all-faith church service at 7.30am (AEST), roughly the time the cyclone hit last year.

Head of the cyclone recovery operations General Peter Cosgrove praised the community's resilience.

"You walked out after the cyclone and saw the wreckage of this beautiful place all around you on that day and the next day and another day - you showed great courage," he said.

"As we come forward one year, I say to you it's a lovely day - it may be raining but at least that rain is falling vertically."

Cyclone Larry swept through far north Queensland on March 20 last year, its 290km/h winds tearing apart homes and decimating the region's banana and sugarcane crops.

Gen Cosgrove will attend a community luncheon later today to thank volunteers and workers who took part in the recovery effort.



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