Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Powerful cyclone closes in on Australia

10 April 2014, 12:32

Sydney - Tourists and coastal residents were evacuating parts of the Great Barrier Reef on Thursday as a powerful cyclone intensified in the Coral Sea and made its way towards Australia's northeast.

Cyclone Ita is forecast to make landfall on Friday north of the tropical city of Cairns, bringing with it the possibility of widespread flooding and damage, emergency officials said.

Wind gusts of up to 280kmh are forecast, bringing with them torrential rain, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said.

"The sea is likely to rise steadily up to a level which will be significantly above the normal tide, with damaging waves, strong currents and flooding of low-lying areas extending some way inland," the bureau said.

The storm was still classified as a tropical depression when it barrelled across the Solomon Islands late last week, killing at least 23 people near the capital, Honiara, according to the United Nations.

In Australia, rescue helicopters have been sent to find and warn people in remote regions about the approaching storm. Campgrounds have been ordered to close and islands near the coast evacuated.

A Great Barrier Reef resort located on Lizard Island 240km north of Cairns confirmed it had evacuated all its guests on Thursday.

The storm's projected course should take it across a sparsely populated section of Queensland State around 0100 GMT on Friday, spreading over an area of about 400km.

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman said up to 9 000 people could be affected by the cyclone, including residents and visitors in Port Douglas, a favourite vacation spot for many international tourists.

Energy minister Mark McArdle said Ita was potentially the most powerful storm to threaten the region since Cyclone Yasi three years ago. He said residents should be prepared to face the loss of electricity for a month or longer.

Cyclone Yasi caused an estimated A$3.5 billion in property damage and lost tourism earnings when it ripped through Queensland in February 2011.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
What do men mean when they say th...

As much as men think they are the ones confused by relationships, they have a better idea of it than most women actually do. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
DP Ruto, not Kenneth the main man...

DP William Ruto will be the main man for the Jubilee Party in 2022, Kiraitu Murungi insists. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Jittery times for DP Ruto as Kenn...

Peter Kenneth is a genuine threat to DP William Ruto's 2022 State House bid... and the DP's allies know it. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
I will name those sabotaging DP R...

A Jubilee Party Governor says that he will name and shame those within Jubilee he says are undermining DP William Ruto's 2022 State House plans. Read more...

ODM official acquitted of defilem...

A Nakuru ODM official on Thursday broke into tears after the court acquitted him of defilement charges leveled against him by his 15-year-old cousin. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Man who attacked US Embassy a 24 ...

A man who attacked the US Embassy in Nairobi was a 24 year old from Wajir County. Read more...