Powerful cyclone closes in on Australia

2014-04-10 09:15
(File: AFP)

(File: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - Tourists and coastal residents were evacuating parts of the Great Barrier Reef on Thursday as a powerful cyclone intensified in the Coral Sea and made its way towards Australia's northeast.

Cyclone Ita is forecast to make landfall on Friday north of the tropical city of Cairns, bringing with it the possibility of widespread flooding and damage, emergency officials said.

Wind gusts of up to 280kmh are forecast, bringing with them torrential rain, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said.

"The sea is likely to rise steadily up to a level which will be significantly above the normal tide, with damaging waves, strong currents and flooding of low-lying areas extending some way inland," the bureau said.

The storm was still classified as a tropical depression when it barrelled across the Solomon Islands late last week, killing at least 23 people near the capital, Honiara, according to the United Nations.

In Australia, rescue helicopters have been sent to find and warn people in remote regions about the approaching storm. Campgrounds have been ordered to close and islands near the coast evacuated.

A Great Barrier Reef resort located on Lizard Island 240km north of Cairns confirmed it had evacuated all its guests on Thursday.

The storm's projected course should take it across a sparsely populated section of Queensland State around 0100 GMT on Friday, spreading over an area of about 400km.

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman said up to 9 000 people could be affected by the cyclone, including residents and visitors in Port Douglas, a favourite vacation spot for many international tourists.

Energy minister Mark McArdle said Ita was potentially the most powerful storm to threaten the region since Cyclone Yasi three years ago. He said residents should be prepared to face the loss of electricity for a month or longer.

Cyclone Yasi caused an estimated A$3.5 billion in property damage and lost tourism earnings when it ripped through Queensland in February 2011.
Read more on:    australia  |  weather
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
-2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The energy today is serious, materialistic and hardworking. You may find you get a new outlook on things and you may want to spend...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.