Evacuation for cyclone Debbie
SYDNEY: Thousands of people have been evacuated from coastal towns in northern Queensland, including the tourist destination of Whitsunday islands, as Australian authorities brace for a category-four cyclone.
Cyclone Debbie is expected to reach the north-eastern Australian state tomorrow morning with destructive wind gusts of up to 240km/h.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull pleaded with the residents to comply with evacuation orders, saying “the window of opportunity to leave is drastically closing.”
“For those in the path of Cyclone Debbie, please take care and stay safe. If you have received an official evacuation order, you and your family must leave immediately.”
If Debbie coincides with the high tide, predicted in the area around the same time, the storm surge is expected to cause significant inundation, along with very heavy rainfall.
Queensland’s Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said one tourist had died in a traffic crash “associated with the weather event” after two vehicles collided in the windswept Whitsunday islands today. – ANA-DPA