By Lilia Guan
Tropical cyclone Yasi has been upgraded to category five by the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).
The cyclone has been described by BOM as a “large and very powerful tropical cyclone that poses an extremely serious threat to life and property within the warning areas – especially between Cairns and Townsville”.
In a warning statement, BOM said the impact of Yasi “was likely to be more life threatening than any experienced during recent generations”.
Coastal residents within the warning area, particularly between Cairns and Ayr, were advised of an “extremely dangerous sea level rise” as the cyclone crossed the coast and moved inland.
Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) president, Genia McCaffrey said the cyclone has been described as being worse than cyclone Tracy, which devastated the Northern Territory in 1974.
“[Yasi] is terrifying and Premier Bligh has told people to leave everything, don’t pack anything and run,” she said.
Cairns Regional Council released a statement today that said from midday winds are expected to reach gusts uf up to 125kph increasing to 200kph by this evening.
The Council advised resident to take shelter and stay off the roads as winds were “very destructive”.
Business operators were also advised by Council to close and secure their workplaces and head home.
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