Category 4 cyclone Debbie is very close to reaching the coastline of northern Queensland. It was predicted to make landfall at around midday today and weather conditions are worsening quickly.
Around 25,000 residents have been evacuated from low-lying areas in Mackay, while others in surrounding regions brace for impact.
The Bureau of Meteorology says that the town of Bowen will be hit first and hardest, as Debbie travels south-west through Proserpine to Mount Coolon at speeds of up to 250km/h.
There are fears that Debbie will hit several major coal mines, which could have lasting negative impacts on Australian economic growth due to prolonged supply disruptions. It could mirror what happened after cyclone Yasi hit in 2011, which dragged Australian GDP significantly lower.
Here’s what Queenslanders facing the storm are sharing on social media as the storm hits, and things get nasty.
Streets are starting to flood.
Those brave enough to be out in the open are filming some amazing footage. This video is from Airlie Beach.
The coastline of Hamilton Island is virtually unrecognisable.
Debris is flying through the air. Wild winds are gusting through areas of Far North Queensland. This was filmed from a hotel balcony in Hamilton Island.
This is Jubilee Pocket, a small town near Airlie Beach.
Just down the road, this home is pelted with winds and debris. You can’t see much past the next building.
The Whitsundays are feeling the brunt of the storm.
The winds are so wild, it’s causing it to rain sideways… and upwards.
A tree was uprooted and crushed this house in Ayr.
To the TV crews including @droneitgroup who are covering Cyclone Debbie…stay safe. To the locals who are born and bred to handle these events…you too look after yourself. . . #staysafe #cyclonedebbie #cyclone #northqueensland #tough #droneit #queenslander #queensland #aerialphotography #drone #dji #djiinspire1 #dronephotography #category4
Debris is being swept all over the roads.
Residents have stocked up on essential supplies and organised themselves survival packs, as there is no indication as to how long the wild weather might last for, or how much damage will be done.
The meaning of ‘essential’ differs to some, however.
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