Tropical Cyclone Dylan moves closer to Queensland, Australia as residents are advised to prepare for storm surges and heavy rains. According to weather reports, the low pressure area was spotted in the Coral Sea several days ago but has turned into a Category One cyclone on the afternoon of Jan 30.
Cyclone Dylan is expected to make landfall between Lucinda and Proserpine in northern Queensland early the next day. It is currently more than 200 kilometres off the coast.
The cyclone has already caused flooding due to heavy rains in Ayr while King tides battered the area as far north as Cairns. The weather bureau has issued a gale warning in Townsville, Mackay and the Capricornia coast. Storm surges are expected in Cardwell and Lucinda causing possible floods in areas near the shore.
Premier Campbell Newman said extensive preparations were underway and considers flooding the biggest threat. Mr Newman advised people to refrain from travelling or getting out of the house when roads are flooded. The Townsville Council has prepared an evacuation centre at Cungulla for affected residents.
The Premier flew to Townsville to monitor preparations and show his solidarity with the people in northern Queensland.
Senior weather forecaster Matt Bass said Cyclone Dylan was moving further south than initially expected.
Anita Rogan, a motel operator in Bowen, reported strong winds forcing boats closer to the shore. He said some smaller boats were now on the beach.
In Cairns Harbour, the waves had reached 3.83 metres and exceeded 40 centimetres from the predicted level.
Meanwhile, residents in low-lying areas were told to prepare sandbags. Mackay Mayor Deirdre Comerford warned people to get sandbags ready for a possible flooding. More water rescue crews from Rockhampton have been sent to Mackay to provide extra manpower in preparation for the cyclone.
Cyclone Dylan is moving west south-west at 14km//h closer to the Queensland coast and is packing winds of 120km/h.
— Michael Best (@michaelbesty) Jan. 30, 2014