Northeastern Australia to face direct hit from Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie
Parts of central and northern Queensland remain on alert for the landfall of dangerous Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie early this week.
Tropical Cyclone Debbie is currently spinning over the Coral Sea, less than 200 km (125 miles) north-northeast of Mackay.
Debbie rapidly strengthened into a Category 4 severe tropical cyclone by Monday evening, posing a serious risk to lives and property along and near the Queensland coastline from Townsville to Mackay.
One death has already been blamed on the cyclone as a tourist was killed amid stormy weather between Bowen and Mackay on Monday, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Some additional strengthening is expected to occur prior to landfall on Tuesday morning. If this scenario pans out, the cyclone’s strength would be the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane in the eastern Pacific or Atlantic Ocean.
Rain, wind and rough seas will continue into Tuesday endangering those with shipping interests.
More lives and property will be threatened as the cyclone takes aim at the central coast of Queensland.
Debbie will continue to track slowly to the southwest through the beginning of the week. An eventual landfall is expected between Townsville and Mackay early Tuesday morning.
Residents are urged to review cyclone preparedness plans and heed local emergency information.
Conditions will rapidly deteriorate on Monday night, with the worst conditions expected on Tuesday.