BRISBANE, Australia: (AP) — Residents have begun evacuating and battening down homes and businesses as the first tropical cyclone of Australia’s season is forecast to cross the northeast coast on Wednesday, bringing destructive winds and flooding rain.
Tropical Cyclone Jasper — category 2 on a 5-tier scale — was tracking west on Tuesday across the Pacific Ocean and was expected the cross the Queensland state coast near the tourist destination of Port Douglas, authorities said.
Winds of up to 140 kph (87 mph) were expected as the cyclone approached, Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles told reporters in Brisbane.
“We are also expecting very heavy rainfall which will cause life-threatening flash flooding,” Miles said.
Locals and tourists were moving to evacuation centers in Port Douglas and neighboring Cairns and Cooktown.
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