Torrential rain, floods hamper Australia cyclone relief


AYR, Australia, March 30, 2017 (BSS/AFP) – Torrential rain hampered relief efforts Thursday after a powerful cyclone wreaked havoc in northeast Australia, with floods sparking emergency rescues as fed-up tourists wait to be evacuated from resort islands.

Cyclone Debbie has pummelled Queensland state since crashing ashore as
category four storm on Tuesday between Bowen and Airlie Beach, ripping up trees, washing boats onto land and causing widespread damage.

It has been downgraded to a tropical low as it tracks southeast, but
continues to pack damaging wind gusts and dump huge amounts of rain, with Brisbane now in the firing line.

Meteorologists forecast the city would be soaked by a month’s worth of
rain in a single day, with the popular Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast areas also in for a drenching before the system moves offshore on Friday. “We have a very, very large state here and this is a very, very big weather system that’s going to wreak havoc all the way down the coast,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.