… this just in (via email) …
A major earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, has hit Australia in the early hours of this morning, with the epicentre believed to be the North Katherine suburb of Palmerston.
Victims were seen wandering around aimlessly muttering, "F’kin ‘ell" and "Whadda carnt". The earthquake has completely decimated the area, leaving a damage bill expected to exceed more than $3000.
Several priceless collections, including mementos from the Torana Appreciation Society and the Palmerston Progress Hall, were destroyed in the quake. Three areas of historic burnt out cars were disturbed. Many locals were woken well before their welfare cheques arrived.
Darwin radio reported that hundreds of residents were confused and bewildered, still trying to come to terms with the fact that something interesting had happened in the area.
One resident – Tracy Sharon Smith, a 15-year-old mother of 5 said, "It was such a shock, my little Chardonnay Mercedes came running into my bedroom crying. My youngest two, Tyler-Morgan and Megan-Storm slept through it all. I was still shaking when I was watching Jerry Springer later in the morning".
The people of Palmerston are a resilient community and evidence of a full recovery can already been seen, with looting, muggings and car crime carrying on as normal.
The aid response from local charities has been swift. The Red Cross has so far managed to ship 4,000 crates of Vegemite to the area to help the stricken locals. Rescue workers are still searching through the rubble and have found large quantities of personal belongings, which include Centrelink booklets, Western Bulldogs shirts, Priceline jewellery and fine bone china from Go-Lo.
The Red Cross seeks to raise money for food and clothing, to be air-dropped as parcels for those unfortunate to be caught up in this disaster. Donations of clothing are in demand. Items most needed include baseball caps; tracksuit tops (his and hers); flannelette shirts (female); white sport socks; sturdy boots; and any other items usually sold in "Op" Shops.
Food parcels may be harder to come by, but are needed all the same.
Required foodstuffs include, Dagwood Dogs, doner kebabs, McDonalds, KFC, ice cream and cans of UDL Bourbon and Coke; Passion Pop and Victoria Bitter.
Charities are also accepting cash donations through any Liquorland outlet.
$0.25 buys a ball point pen for filling in compensation forms;
$5.00 buys chips, sausages, gherkins, crisps and blue fizzy drinks for a family of nine;
$10.00 will buy a packet of Winfield Blues 25s and a lighter to calm the nerves of those affected.
Aid agencies have requested that no tents be sent into the affected suburb, as the sight of posh housing is unfair on the population of the neighbouring areas.