Cooktown 'Dodged A Bullet' As Cyclone Ita Passes, Storm Now Category 2

Cyclone ITa has downgraded to a category 2 system as it heads inland. Image: Shutterstock.

Ita hit the far north coast of Queensland last night as a category 4 tropical cyclone with wind speeds of up to 200km an hour but the system has since been downgraded to a category 2.

Emergency services are assessing damage in affected areas as the cyclone continues inland.

The BOM reported at 6am the cyclone was 20km southwest of Cooktown and 160km north of Cairns and moving at 8km/h.

A cyclone warning is still current for coastal areas from Cape Melville to Cardwell including Cooktown, Port Douglas and Cairns, with destructive winds over 100km/h still possible throughout the day.

Daryl Camp from Emergency Management Queensland told ABC Radio an assessment of the damage should be done “fairly quickly this morning”, he added, “but we’ll have to wait and see what Ita has done.”

Cooktown Mayor Peter Scott said the shire had dodged a bullet: “People need to take a big breath today.”

Here are some pictures from the ground:

Read more here.

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