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Flood-ridden eastern Australia braces for imminent cyclone

01-31-2011 17:27 BJT

SYDNEY, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Residents in north Queensland should brace for what could be one of the state's biggest cyclones, expected to hit later this week, the state Premier Anna Bligh warned on Monday.

Cyclone Yasi is tracking west from the Pacific Ocean near Vanuatu, prompting alert among residents. Weather forecasters have anticipated it to become a category four cyclone, which could override the power of 2005's Cyclone Larry.

Yasi is expected to bring overwhelming storm surges to a 500- kilometer stretch of coastline along eastern Queensland, posing a threat to people in low-lying coastal, who were urged to move further inland.

The rains expected brought by the cyclone will deteriorate the flood-ridden regions in central Queensland, in which daily life and businesses are yet to back to normal operations.

Winds up to 100 kilometers per hour are expected to start lashing northern communities from mid-morning Wednesday.

Bligh said the cyclone had been consistently tracked over the past five days, noting authorities will help local residents to evacuate and take measures like school closure, if necessary.

"This is a very serious threat," she said. "It may well be one of the largest and most serious cyclone threats we have ever had to deal with."

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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