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Queensland, Australia readies for Tropical Cyclone Ului

Saturday, March 20th, 2010 6:44am MDT
Satellite image - Tropical Cyclone Ului poised to strike Queensland, Australia. (ABM)

Satellite image - Tropical Cyclone Ului poised to strike Queensland, Australia. (ABM)

The eastern coast of Australia was on high alert as Tropical Cyclone Ului prepared to make landfall in Queensland. Packing winds approaching 75 mph (165 km/hr), the government has begun evacuations in advance of the powerful storm.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology said that Ului had shown intensification over the past six hours and was warning it may strike land as a Category 3 storm packing winds to 105 mph (170 km/hr). Very destructive winds are forecast to begin affecting coastal areas late Saturday night and into Sunday morning.

Landfall is expected 625 miles north of Brisbane (1000km) between Bowen and Proserpine. As with any cyclone, the wind presents the most immediate danger. However heavy rain raises the risk of severe flooding as 8 to 12 inches is expected in the hardest hit areas.

In advance of the storm, Queensland issued a disaster declaration which clears the way for the government force the evacuation of those at risk. Currently the communities Townsville, Burdekin, Rockhampton, Whitsunday, Charters Towers, Mackay, and Isaac fall under the mandatory evacuation orders. Resort areas along the Great Barrier Reef have already been evacuated.

For the complete forecast map and details, please visit the Natural Disasters Examiner.

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