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Queensland Australia – Cyclone Yasi

Tuesday 1st February 2011

The Foreign Office has issued travel advisories for Queensland Australia

According to the BBC news Queensland residents have been told it is now too late to leave home as the most dangerous storm ever predicted to hit the state makes its approach. Wind speeds at the eye of the storm are said to be up to 175mph and has been given the category 5 rating, the highest and most severe rating possible.

State Premier Anna Bligh said those in coastal areas expected to flood should have left their homes already as the greatest danger to life was surges of water forecast at up to seven metres above normal high tide levels in the worst-affected coastal areas. Resorts such as Hamilton Island and around the Great Barrier Reef have been evacuated. Thousands of families are sheltering in shopping centres and other evacuation centres. The eye of the storm alone was reported to be 35km in width, with a front stretching across 650km. Seven-metre wave surges are expected to cause widespread flooding and wind gusts are likely to rip off roofs and cause significant structural damage.

State Premier Anna Bligh: "The time for movement and evacuation has now passed"

The Bureau of Meteorology has warned that Cyclone Yasi posed an "extremely serious threat to life and property" within the warning area, especially between Cairns and Townsville.

Cyclone Yasi, a category five storm, will make landfall on Wednesday night local time (approx. 1400 GMT).

The Foreign Office advice is quoted as follows:

“Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi is expected to make landfall between Innisfail and Cardwell in North Queensland at 22:00 on 2 February 2011. Yasi is a large and very powerful cyclone, and poses an extremely serious threat to life and property within the warning area, especially between Cairns and Townsville. It will affect much of North Queensland with destructive winds, heavy rain, and in some areas storm surges that are expected to cause serious and sudden flooding in oceanfront and low-lying areas along much of the Queensland coastline.  People in affected areas should register with the local authorities, and keep up-to-date with advice from local media and emergency services.”

Tourists to the area have been advised to follow local authority instructions.