Cyclone hits Australia's northeast coast

The premier of Australia's Queensland state has declared parts of its coast a disaster zone as a tropical cyclone approaches.

Cyclone hits Australia's northeast coast

A tropical cyclone smashed into Australia's northeast coast on Sunday, bringing winds of up to 200 kilometres (124 miles) an hour which downed trees and ripped air-conditioning units from walls.

The premier of Australia’s Queensland state has Saturday declared parts of its coast a disaster zone as a tropical cyclone approaches.

Premier Anna Bligh said  that the declaration gives the state the power to order mandatory evacuations if required.

Cyclone Ului made landfall near Queensland's Whitsunday islands, a popular tourist destination on the Great Barrier Reef, damaging buildings, washing yachts ashore and cutting power to thousands of homes, officials said.

But there were no reports of deaths or serious injuries from the severe storm, Bligh said.

Tropical Cyclone Ului is forecast to cross the northeastern Australian coast early Sunday packing winds of up to 105 miles (170 kilometers) an hour.

The Bureau of Meteorology has warned that up to 12 inches (300 millimeters) of rain could fall.

Resorts along the Great Barrier Reef have evacuated in anticipation of the storm. Residents likely to be affected have taped up windows and stocked up on supplies.


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Mart 2010, 10:37

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