Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

NERVOUS WAIT AS YASI HEADS TOWARDS QLD Eyes on Bigger Cyclone; Rockhampton Watches Yasi

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

NERVOUS WAIT AS YASI HEADS TOWARDS QLD Eyes on Bigger Cyclone; Rockhampton Watches Yasi

Article excerpt

Byline: Adam Wratten, Emma.McBryde@capnews.com.au

STILL reeling from this month's flood, Rockhampton residents have been warned to prepare again with a potential category three cyclone expected to hit the Queensland coast later this week.

While Cyclone Anthony was expected to cross the state's coast between Ayr and Townsville overnight, it's this second system that has got authorities nervous.

This Cyclone, named Yasi, was off Vanuatu late yesterday and is expected to cross the coast north of Gladstone by Thursday. US Navy weather modelling has forecast winds up to 200kmh.

The Weatherzone website has predicted heavy rainfall across Central Queensland this week with forecasts of more than 200mm for St Lawrence, 150mm for Rockhampton and nearly 300mm at Mackay.

The Rockhampton Local Disaster Management Group has been reactivated and will meet at 8am today.

Yasi developed into a cyclone yesterday afternoon.

Premier Anna Bligh said authorities were looking at not only a potentially damaging cyclone, but more C[pounds sterling]very heavy rainfallC[yen], which could cause further flooding.

Bureau of Meteorology's Queensland regional director, Jim Davidson, said the system was a very large one. Communities from Cooktown to Hervey Bay have been put on alert.

Mr Davidson said in coming days they would have a better idea as to where it would make landfall.

Should Cyclone Yasi generate 200kmh winds, it would be in the category three cyclone range.

Meanwhile, the bureau was expecting Cyclone Anthony to make landfall south of Townsville late last night.

The category two cyclone was producing destructive winds of up to 130kmh at 255 kilometres east of Townsville at 6pm yesterday and was slowly intensifying as it approached the coast.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Tony Auden said the Rockhampton region could expect between 10mm and 20mm of rain today, but it should not affect the Fitzroy catchment. …

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