Crawford Handling Australian Claims

March 24, 2006

Crawford & Company announced that its Australia operation has activated its catastrophe plan in the wake of Cyclone Larry, the category five cyclone that struck Australia on Monday morning (See IJ Website March 20).

Crawford said its “claims professionals from around Australia are arriving in Cairns, where the Catastrophe team is based. The catastrophe team is being led by Queensland Manager, Darren McKinnon, and Mark Sidey.”

Tropical Cyclone Larry was a very powerful storm. Crawford notes that it “crossed the North Queensland coast at Innisfail at approximately 7.30 a.m. on Monday, March 20, 2006. Larry was designated a Category 5 Cyclone, with wind speeds approaching 190mph (300kmh).” By way of reference, wind speeds of that strength are usually associated with tornadoes, not tropical cyclones or hurricanes.

“Many business and homeowners are still returning to their properties as access has been rendered difficult by continuing strong winds and localized flooding,” the bulletin continued. “Communication facilities have been adversely impacted as well. The vast majority of buildings in Innisfail have suffered significant damage as well as the resort town of Mission Beach, south of Innisfail. To the north, Cairns, one of the largest cities in North Queensland, sustained damage as well. Cyclone Larry continued inland for a considerable distance, with a number of townships on the Atherton Tablelands also being affected.”

Contact details for McKinnon and Sidey are as follows:
Darren McKinnon:
Office: +61 7 3230 4400

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