Photo Credit: ABC Reporter Josh Bavas via Twitter
The Archbishop of Sydney's Anglican Aid has launched an appeal for the victims of Cyclone Debbie in North Queensland.
One of the most powerful cyclones ever to hit Queensland devastated a large swathe of the coastline on Tuesday and caused further damage as it moved inland.
Local residents, churches, community groups as well as the Army, Police and SES have begun the slow cleanup in centres such as Airlie Beach, Shute Harbour and Proserpine, as well as offshore islands Hamilton, Hayman and Daydream which were hit hard.
"Cyclone Debbie was large in size, vicious in its intensity and has caused immense havoc." according to the Anglican Bishop of North Queensland, Bishop Bill Ray. "While the Cyclone has passed, the next major concern for many is flooding."
Anglican Aid's Director, the Reverend David Mansfield says the funds raised by the appeal will be sent to Bishop Ray and the Diocese of North Queensland to resource churches in the region to assist those most in need in their communities.
"We are asking Christians in Sydney to stand in fellowship with our brothers and sisters in northern Queensland who have been affected by the cyclone." Mr Mansfield says. "We are thankful to God that, so far, there has been no loss of life and no reports of widespread injuries. But many will have lost their livelihoods, particularly those working in the agricultural sector." Bishop Ray is resilient in face of adversity: "There will be no short term 'fix' - we have to hang in there for the long haul, knowing God is with us," he says. "We give thanks to God for the way people have rallied to help". "As damaging as Cyclone Debbie has been, the people of North Queensland will be stronger," Bishop Ray said.