Posts Tagged ‘ Roland ’

Timely Aid for the People of Queensland, by Roland Bleyer

About the Author: Noted businessman and philanthropist Roland Bleyer dedicates a substantial portion of his resources to charity, typically across a variety of organizations. Recently, however, Mr. Bleyer has focused his donations on a cause close to many Australians’ hearts: the Queensland Flood Relief Fund.

Early in 2011, the Queensland region on Australia’s northeastern coast was battered by Cyclone Yasi, wreaking massive damage across the state. This storm was classified as a Category Five meteorological event, the highest denomination possible. Ultimately, Cyclone Yasi proved to be even more powerful than the devastating Hurricane Katrina that ravaged New Orleans in 2005.

Extraordinary planning and contingency preparation efforts on the part of local officials resulted in zero casualties from the disaster, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The primary evacuation sites in Townsville and Cairns ultimately sheltered more than 10,000 residents without injury. Although this phenomenal preservation of Queensland’s inhabitants is both lucky and laudable, the material damage caused by the storm was immense, with 75% of the state classified as a disaster area. Yachts were lifted out of their harbor moorings, power lines were downed across major thoroughfares, huge trees were uprooted throughout suburban areas, and numerous streets were flooded beyond remedy. Many families whose homes were located at the heart of the cyclone’s trajectory were literally left bereft of all their belongings.

Relief efforts through the government have been generous but remain insufficient to mend the full breadth of the storm’s damage. Forty thousand of those homes hit worst by the cyclone’s effects have received a combined total of $272 million toward repairs, and the charitable Society of St. Vincent de Paul dispersed an additional $18 million to affected families. The Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal will remain open for donations through December 2011 and accept funds through the mail, the Internet, in person, or over the phone. If you would like to contribute to Queensland’s recovery from this disastrous incident, please visit the fund’s website at