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Mon 9 May 2011 10:21 AM

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Abu Dhabi donates $30m to storm-hit Queensland

Cash will be used to build cyclone shelters across the northern coast of the Australian state

Abu Dhabi donates $30m to storm-hit Queensland
Cyclone Yasi brought ferocious winds up to 170mph at the core and flood-inducing rain and damaging hundreds of buildings

Abu Dhabi has donated $30m to the Australian state of Queensland to build
cyclone shelters after the region saw widespread damage caused by storms in
early February.

UAE Minister of State Reem Al-Hashimy made the announcement
in Brisbane on Sunday, during a state tour of the country.  

The donation was matched by State Premier Anna Bligh, who
said the $60m would be used to construct multipurpose storm shelters along the
north Queensland coast. She described the donation as “generous and
unsolicited.”

“This is what friends do for each other,” she told
Australian media.

Queensland’s lack of shelters became an issue when Australia’s third most
populous state was hit by Cyclone Yasi, one of the most powerful storms
recorded in the country, earlier this year.

The storm brought ferocious winds up to 170mph at the
core and flood-inducing rain, damaging hundreds of buildings and severing power
to some 180,000 homes.

Abu Dhabi, the oil-rich capital of the UAE, has established economic ties
with Queensland. The Gulf emirate was part of a consortium that bought the Port
of Brisbane last November, in a deal valued at $2.1bn.

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