WINDS OF CHANGE
Tropical Cyclone Debbie leaves trail of destruction across region
The last thing we also want is any person who takes advantage of the situation... — Commissioner Ian Stewart
QUEENSLAND Police Commissioner Ian Stewart has warned residents in towns impacted by Tropical Cyclone Debbie to stay inside and watch out for looters.
Commissioner Stewart made the remarks at a media conference with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Tuesday.
“There’s some other very key messages that need to be adhered to and that is as the danger passes completely – and that will happen for most places overnight, and into tomorrow morning – we need people, if they possibly can, to stay off the roads because emergency service vehicles and personnel will need to be going into all areas as quickly as possible,” Commissioner Stewart said.
“Please take note: if you don’t need to go out, don’t.”
Commissioner Stewart also warned of looting.
“There will be lots of personnel coming in to the damaged areas to do risk assessment,” he said.
“I’d ask people to keep note of those individuals.
“The last thing we also want is any person who takes advantage of the situation for looting purposes.
“And we ask, if you see someone who you suspect, please take photos and provide them to police immediately.”
A flood warning has been issued for most of the Queensland coast – all the way from north of Mackay down to the New South Wales border.
The cyclone is forecast to track inland, bringing rain to regions around Emerald before turning back towards the the east and hitting the Fraser and Sunshine coasts on the weekend.
Hamilton Island was the
first major victim of Cyclone Debbie as it smashed the Queensland coast.
Images of the tourist haven started to surface on social media after monstrous winds tore through the Whitsundays.
Weatherzone reported the island registered a wind gust of 263kmh earlier this week.
One Hamilton Island holidaymaker described Cyclone Debbie as like “bloody mayhem”.
“The roar was so loud, wind was phenomenal, all
the windows rattled and shook violently,” Mat Garner said.
He and his family were still in lockdown yesterday afternoon in their holiday house in the north-eastern corner of the island.
“There are houses with roofs ripped off, glass panels smashed, guttering missing, trees uprooted, golf buggies shredded,” he said.
“I haven’t got down the marina front yet and I have to go check my uncle’s house next door once the winds go down a bit.”
WORSE FOR WEAR: Stripped of most of its feathers, a dazed cockatoo at Airlie Beach.
WORRIED: Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.