Devastating flooding over the past month and a half inundated hundreds of thousands of square miles in the Australian state of Queensland. The last thing the weary residents needed was more stormy weather but that is what came in the form of Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi.
Just a few days ago Tropical Cyclone Anthony made landfall on Australia’s northeast coast. Mercifully it was a relatively small storm. The same cannot be said of Yasi.
Yasi landed at midnight local time on Thursday as a powerful Category 5 storm packing wind gusts to 186 mph. Tens of thousands of residents fled the storm as it approached and reports of down trees, roofs ripped off homes and widespread power outages are being seen.
As reported by the Natural Disasters Examiner:
“This is a cyclone of savagery and intensity,” warned Prime Minister Julia Gillard. “People are facing some really dreadful hours in front of them.”
Accompanying the damaging wind was destructive storm surge more than six feet high that will likely submerge low lying coastal areas. Rains from the storm are sure to drench ground already saturated from the massive flooding Queensland has seen in recent weeks and new flooding is likely.
The storm has moved inland and is near the town of Georgetown. It still is packing powerful punch as a Category 3 cyclone with gusts in excess of 127 mph (205 kph).
Related: NOAA satellite imagery of the flooding in Australia (Examiner.com)