The northeastern coast of Australia and the state of Queensland was slammed by a cyclone on Tuesday that brought with it 120 mph winds. One death has been reported so far. The death occurred on Monday when stormy weather killed a tourist between Bowen and MacKay.
Residents of Mackay’s low-lying areas were asked to evacuate early Monday afternoon. The evacuations were urged after the storm was predicted to surge up to 8 feet. An estimated 25,000 people were affected. Residents in the area have been advised to now prepare for major flooding, reports USA Today.
AccuWeather predicted that fierce winds would also be a serious threat. The winds are capable causing power outages, damage to homes and buildings and creating life-threatening airborne debris.
Phil Klotzbach, a Colorado State University expert on hurricanes called the storm “extremely dangerous” on Monday in a tweet.
Queensland, a state in northeastern Australia, has a population of 4.6 million. It is Australia’s third largest city. The cyclone was hitting about 600 miles northwest of Brisbane, reports the Courier Mail.
The Queensland has been hit by nine cyclones that were listed as Category 3 or higher since 1989. Four of those storms have been since 2011.
The storm known as Cyclone Debbie was been downgraded to a category 3 storm on Tuesday. It was downgraded just a few hours after it crossed the Queensland coast. The storm was last reported moving west at 12km/h. It is predicted to move southwest before it curves to track over inland Queensland.
The police commissioner of the Queensland told residents to prepare for damage, injuries and possibly deaths. The storm has already passed over Hamilton Island with no reported injuries or deaths.
Ian Stewart, the police commissioner, told the media that several communities have been completely cut off from any form of communication so it is unknown how badly the storm hit them, reports the Guardian.
In Proserpine, one man was hospitalized after being seriously injured by a wall that collapsed. More than 48,000 homes are without power. Many roads in Cannon Valley and Proserpine have been closed due to flooding.
Annastacia Palaszczuk, the premier of the Queensland, has stated that she has received early reports of structural damage labeled significant in Proserpine. She issued a statement urging people to stay inside while the storm continues to batter the area. It is expected that powerful winds will affect the region for the next six to eight hours.
By Tammy Marie Rose
Photo Courtesy NASA/NOAA