25 Jan 2024, 14:00

Cyclone Kirrily to make landfall in northeast Australia

SYDNEY, Jan 25, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - A powerful category three cyclone is expected to make landfall in northeastern Australia late on Thursday, lashing cities along Queensland's Great Barrier Reef coast.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Kirrily packed winds of more than 160 kilometres (100 miles) per hour winds as it barrelled toward Townsville's 180,000 residents.

The storm is predicted to weaken quickly once it hits land, shortly before midnight local time (1400 GMT Thursday), but residents were taking no chances.

As nightfall approached, they banded together to fill sandbags and batten down homes, fearing the high winds, driving rain and storm tides might bring flash floods.

Roughly a quarter of a million people are under a storm warning, schools are closed and people are being told to prepare to shelter in place.

Just weeks ago Tropical Cyclone Jasper hit Australia's far northeast, flooding major highways, uprooting trees, and leaving 40,000 without power.

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