how the houses collapse - in a cyclone

  1. 17,117 Posts.
    anyone considering staying put in their house, should read this....
    extract only...

    The damage to houses could resemble the aftermath of a bombing raid, as the pressure builds inside to blow off the roofs.

    CSIRO researcher Bob Leicester, an engineer who has studied the aftermath of some of Australia's worst cyclones, said houses could fold like cards, skewed into a diamond shape.

    "It looks like the housing is exploding -- the winds pull the houses apart," he said.

    "Pressure pushes the front of the house in, while the wind is shaking the roof off and sucking the back and side of the house outwards.

    "Bits of the roof start to peel off with bits of wood attached, which makes them a lethal weapon if they hit other houses from the side.

    "In the old Queenslanders, the top half sometimes gets blown straight off the platform of stilts, so it ends up in a mess on the ground."

    Cam Leitch, who manages James Cook University's cyclone testing station in Townsville, said the fierce wind looked for the weakest link.

    "You get gusts and little eddies of wind that just pick at it -- on, off, on, off," Mr Leitch said.

    "If a window or door on the windward side gets pushed in, or hit by flying debris, the air and water rushes inside. The internal pressure pushes up on the roof."

    Hilltop homes -- especially those with open-plan living areas and large glass panes to capture the views -- will be particularly vulnerable to the storm.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/cyclone-yasi/north-waits-and-watches-for-the-monster-to-come/story-fn7rj0ye-1225998353991
 
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