News ID: 189977
Published: 1127 GMT March 29, 2017

Cyclone Debbie batters northeast Australia

Cyclone Debbie batters northeast Australia

Cyclone Debbie has wrought widespread damage in northeastern Australia, where it recently made landfall, authorities say.

Emergency crews have started assessing the damage caused by Debbie, which struck the coast of Queensland State on Tuesday with winds up to 260 kilometers an hour. However, roads blocked by trees and other debris have partially hampered the efforts.

The storm cut power supplies to more than 63,000 people. It also washed battered yachts ashore and ripped roofs off houses and devastated some of the region’s tourist hotspots.

“Nature has flung her worst at the people of Queensland,” Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters at the Crisis Coordination Centre in Canberra.

The cyclone also shut down coal mines in the Bowen Basin region.

Queensland state police deputy commissioner Steve Gollschewski told Australian Broadcasting Corporation television, however, that most of the major infrastructure remained “intact.”

“It’s looking promising in terms of being able to rebuild promptly with most of the major infrastructure intact,” Gollschewski said.

“We’re still struggling to get in there, however,” he added, noting planes and boats were being used to bring army personnel and emergency workers to areas cut off.

No deaths were reported from the powerful storm, but two people were injured, police said.

The category-four storm weakened as it moved inland and was downgraded to a tropical low by Wednesday morning. However, flood and poor weather warnings were still in place statewide.



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