Economy

Queensland braces for cyclone ‘Yasi’

PTI Melbourne | Updated on February 01, 2011 Published on February 01, 2011

Winds of more than 250 kmph could be expected from the high-category four system. The storm is likely to hit the province’s north coast tomorrow.

A severe tropical cyclone ‘Yasi’ is roaring towards flood-ravaged Australian province Queensland as residents braced for what is predicted to be one of the fiercest storms in the region.

Winds of more than 250 kmph could be expected from the high-category four system, the state premier, Ms Anna Bligh, said today. The storm is likely to hit the province’s north coast tomorrow.

The premier compared Yasi with Cyclone Larry that hit the state in 2006 and was a mid-level category four system. Larry damaged about 10,000 homes and caused damages of A$1.5 billion.

“This of course is not only a system now tracking as more intense than Cyclone Larry, it is significantly larger than Cyclone Larry,” Ms Bligh said.

The premier said areas to the north and the south of the crossing point would see its effects, including a high storm surge, torrential rain and destructive winds.

She warned the residents the storm was so large that the calm experienced as the eye passes could last for more than one hour.

“It’s very important people understand that calm is not an opportunity to go walking outside and to have a look around...This is such a big system that this eye could last for more than an hour and at the end of that period the next thing that will be felt is the strongest possible winds.

“This storm is huge and it is life threatening,” she said.

The 500-km wide cyclone with a giant eye of 100 km continues has already prompted evacuations.

Cyclone Yasi is steaming towards a band between Innisfail and Mackay, threatening to swamp the low-lying areas. The storm is tipped to cross the coast between 10 pm tomorrow night and 4 am on Thursday.

However, Ms Bligh said there is some good news Yasi’s path could save western communities from flooding again.

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Published on February 01, 2011
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