3a["Cyclone at Onslow", The West Australian, Thursday 30 December 1897, page 5]
CYCLONE AT ONSLOW.
MUCH DESTRUCTION DONE.
Intelligence of a terribly destructive hurricane at Onslow reached Perth yesterday. During the morning Col. Phillips, the Commissioner of Police, received a telegram from Constable R. H. Pilmer, who is stationed at Onslow, to the effect that on Tuesday the town was visited by a terrific storm. From this message it appears that the police buildings, the residency, and all private buildings were more or less damaged, the derrick belonging to the artesian bore destroyed, the hospital partially unroofed, and the new jetty almost totally destroyed. Mr. F. Inkpen, the postmaster at Onslow, yesterday forwarded the following telegram to Mr. R. A. Sholl, the Postmaster-General, in reference to the storm, which confirms the report received by the Commissioner of Police:--"A hurricane passed over the town yesterday. The old residents say it was one of the worst seen here. The barometer had been falling steadily for some days, and read yesterday at 8 a m., 29.492, and at 10.30 a.m. 28.804. Every house in town was more or less damaged. The new hospital roof had about fifty sheets of iron ripped off. The derrick at the bore was destroyed. Almost the whole of the decking of the new jetty was stripped and the piles were lifted. The building at the jetty which had bean used as a boarding house was laid to the ground. Not much damage was done to the telegraph buildings. The rainfall was 2.34in. The weather seems to have cleared up.
THE S.S. ALBANY IN THE STORM.
Mr. W. E. Moxon, manager of the Adelaide S.S. Company at Fremantle, last evening received a telegram from Captain O. Odman, of the s s. Albany, stating that that steamer reached Onslow at noon yesterday, 36 hours overdue. The Albany met the full force of the cyclone when bearing Anchor Island, close to the port of Onslow, and had to put to sea to ride out the gale. Captain Odman states that the wind was terrible in its violence. The sea rose mountains high, and repeatedly swept the decks of the steamer. A quantity of deck cargo was carried away by the first of the heavy
seas which broke over her. After contending with the gale for over twenty-four hours, the steamer put into Onslow, arriving, as stated, in a dilapidated condition. Mr. Moxon expects to receive intelligence that the s.s. Lubra, which is on her way southwards, has also experienced the violence of the gale.
3b["Rough Weather During the Christmas Holidays", Northern Public Opinion and Mining and Pastoral News (Roebourne, WA), Saturday 01 January 1898, page 2]
Passengers by the s.s. Albany, which arrived at Cossack from South on Thursday, report enduring a terrible experience on the voyage between the Nor'-West Cape and Ashburton roads, where the vessel was caught in a terrible cyclone. So fierce were the elements that all on board were in fear of the steamer sinking at any moment. A long succession of heavy seas broke over her, pouring streams of water into the saloons and engine-rooms, and putting out the fires, and at times her hull was almost completely submerged. Every moveable thing on deck was washed overboard, including some tanks weighing 8cwt. each, and the vessel was filled up to her bulwarks with water.
Onslow, it would appear, was within the inner zone of the storm. The jetty was damaged to an incredable[sic] extent by the force of the wind and sea. The decking was stripped and many of the piles were actually drawn out of the ground, and others placed very much out of perpendicular. Full particulars were not to hand when we went to press.