In what was a remarkable Sunday, Cyclone Marcus descended upon the Northern Territory, whilst unpredictable bushfires were uncontainable in New South Wales & Victoria. Our offices across these states have already received calls from our clients to assist affected customers.
Tropical Cyclone Marcus
Having been building to the north of Melville Island for 3 days, Tropical Cyclone Marcus crossed the remote Kimberly Coast before making its way as a Category 2 Cyclone through Darwin at 11am. The accompanying rainfall was not as devastating as the Australia Day monsoon event in January, however winds gusted up to 130km/h. There are many trees down and we are seeing claims from tree impact damage, wind damage and wind driven rain. All of our staff in Darwin are safe, and as you can see by the photo below, having difficulty navigating the streets.
The main focus by authorities right now is to clear debris blocking roads, restoring power and making sure the drinking water is safe to use. As of this morning nearly 20,000 properties remain without power which could lead to many small business interruption claims. Our FAS Global team have increased their accountancy capacity in their Small Claims Team in anticipation of receiving additional volume of losses. We have additional Loss Adjusting staff flying over the next 24 hours to Darwin from Adelaide, with more resources planned ahead of the upcoming Easter break, with our CAT Team being managed by Bradley Johnson. The Cyclone continues to head across the northern coast, but is not expected to cause damage to any more large communities.
The small town of Tathra is a quiet coastal town approximately 100kms north of the Victorian border. On Sunday afternoon, unpredictable winds lead to bushfires changing direction, and rampaging through a number of streets where according to media reports up to 70 buildings were destroyed. Our local contacts have suggested that approximately 40 homes have been destroyed. As of Monday, it is believed that all residents are safe. Our Adjusters from Canberra and Wollongong will be supporting our clients.
The Rural Fire Service were busy on Sunday as they fought fires in the south of Victoria. The ‘fire zone’ covers four main areas between Hamilton and Port Campbell, with the worst being near Terang where 18 homes and 42 sheds have been destroyed. Sadly many livestock have been lost. The cause is thought be lightning strikes, but is still subject of further investigation. Overnight the fire appears to be contained – the fire service has 280 firefighters on the ground, supported by 29 aircraft – a great response and obviously the reason for the fairly rapid success achieved with no loss of human life. Our rural teams have already received claims from brokers in the affected regions, and will be supported from Melbourne if needed.