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This Day in History

Australian History

Friday, April 22, 1887. :   A cyclone hits near Broome, Western Australia, killing 140.

     Australia's northwestern coast is located in one of the most cyclone-prone areas of its coastline. The pearling industry developed in the region in the late 1800s, and pearling luggers populated the waters off the town of Broome. Many fleets of pearlers were lost to cyclones over several decades. When a cyclone hit on 22 April 1887, a pearling fleet once more bore the brunt of the storm; thirteen vessels were destroyed and 140 people killed. Eighty Mile Beach (some sources say Ninety Mile Beach), near Broome, was littered with bodies and debris washed up from the battered fleet.

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