Australia's attention is focused on Far North Queensland and Tropical Cyclone Ita. (More here.)
The Cooktown shelter has gone into lockdown and power has gone out in the town. I've just heard that people may be locked in the shelter for 48 hours. The storm will probably bring down powerlines so there'll be all sorts of dangers even after the storm passes. There's a warning that it could be a month before power is restored. (Supply in Far North Queensland was described as one long extension cord stretching north of Cairns.)
Been hearing that the cyclone shelter in Hope Vale is meant for a Cat 3 cyclone, so the people there are concerned, given Ita is a Cat 5.
The other thing is that the system is slow. I've heard it could mean 300 mm of rain every six hours for days. That means floods and more damage to areas already devastated by massive winds.
The locals seem to be very organised and have prepared very well. Cairns is a fair way south of landfall but is in the expected path as the system moves down the coast. (see here)
I've been collecting a few tweets about Tropical Cyclone Ita.
Warning in cairns that ATMs will stop working. #TCIta pic.twitter.com/GQHVrjI6g6
— Matt Wordsworth (@MattWordsworth) April 11, 2014
The main cyclone shelter in #Cooktown is now locked down as Ita approaches. Follow our blog for live updates #TCIta http://t.co/I3ESryk2Ig
— ABC News (@abcnews) April 11, 2014
Just got a text from Cooktown: "no power in Cooktown whole town out". It's going to be a long night in #FNQ. #TCIta
— Sam Drummond (@samdrummond) April 11, 2014
Cooktown power has just gone out, according to the town's Sovereign Hotel owner, Brendan Cullern. #TCIta
— Tropical Cyclone ITA (@Cyclone_Ita) April 11, 2014
We have set up a hotline for relatives of residents at #Bupa Mt Sheridan. For urgent inquiries regarding #TCIta please call 1300 352 638
— Bupa aged care Aust (@BupaAgedCareAus) April 11, 2014
Thinking of my family and friends in #fnq Especially all the hard working banana farmers. Stay safe. #TCIta
— Lucy Stocker (@miningmummy) April 11, 2014
@hairbyjulia1 If you haven't been through a big one before the noise of the wind and rain will shock you. #TCItaYou can see some more info about Ita here.
— Pete (@PeteDotAscian) April 11, 2014