Islands evacuated

GUESTS and staff staying on several Whitsunday islands were evacuated on Monday and Tuesday in preparation of Cyclone Yasi expected to hit the North Queensland tonight.

Hamilton Island management started to take precautionary measures on Monday and were bracing for the initial effects of the cyclone to reach Hamilton Island at some stage.

Hamilton Island management decided to stop incoming guests to the island on Monday morning and will continue this action for the next week.

Staff were also evacuated on Monday and Tuesday.

Buses to Brisbane were arranged for staff members who could not get on to flights.

On Monday there were about 1200 guests on the island, 900 staff and 200 residents.

Daydream Island evacuated its 150 guests and staff from the island on Tuesday and stopped taking new guest bookings from Monday.

All other islands including Lindeman Island were evacuated except for Hayman where some people had volunteered to evacuate and others chose to stay.

Tourism Whitsundays chief executive Peter O'Reilly said Hayman Island had cyclone facilities for those who chose to stay on the island.

All 300 guests and staff who were at Club Med on Lindeman Island were being evacuated on Tuesday.

Club Med general manager Quentin Briard said Club Med did not make the decision lightly and considered the safety of its guests and staff as paramount.

There were no guests at Hook Island, or Paradise Bay Eco Resort on Long Island.

South Molle Island had closed for the season.


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