Evacuation centres set up in north Queensland
Preparations are under way for Tropical Cyclone Jasper to hit the Queensland coast, bringing potentially disastrous consequences, Australian Associated Press reports.
Gales are expected to hit several communities from today, including Cairns, Innisfail, Palm Island and Wujal Wujal.
The system weakened to a category 1 as it moved west towards the coast across the weekend but could reintensify before making landfall near Port Douglas, north of Cairns, as a category 2 by tomorrow afternoon.
If the slow-moving cyclone is delayed further, it could develop into an even more intense system, prompting authorities to take considerable precautions. The Bureau of Meteorology said:
If the system is slower and crosses overnight Wednesday or Thursday, a slim chance remains of a severe category 3 crossing.
Evacuation centres have been set up across the region, with deputy premier Steven Miles warning of a significant risk of flash flooding when Jasper makes landfall.
Good morning, all, and welcome to our rolling news coverage. I’m Martin Farrer and I’ll be bringing you some of our top stories this morning before my colleague Emily Wind takes over.
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