Reeling From Floods, Australia Braces for 150-mph Cyclone
"It may well be one of the largest and most serious cyclone threats we have ever had to deal with," Queensland Premier Anna Bligh told reporters today, according to The Australian.
Cyclone Yasi is scheduled to hit the Queensland coast late Wednesday or early Thursday as a Category 4 storm, punishing the already soaked region with high winds, storm surges and heavy rains.
More than 310,000 people live in Queensland, and officials have asked residents in low-lying areas of the state to evacuate. Queensland's capital, Townsville, could take a direct hit from the storm, and Bligh warned that cities still inundated with floodwaters would likely be affected as well.
"We couldn't rule out further flooding in areas that have already experienced significant flooding in the last four weeks, if this cyclone behaves in the way it's currently predicted to do," Bligh said, according to the BBC.
Cyclone Anthony, a far less powerful storm, hit Queensland over the weekend with 80-mph winds, without causing any major damage. Severe flooding in the region has killed at least 30 people since November.
Read more at The Australian and the BBC.