149-mph cyclone could wallop Australia
Cyclone Yasi could set back Queensland, already damaged by recent flooding, shown here.
January 31st, 2011
11:20 AM ET

149-mph cyclone could wallop Australia

A strong cyclone thrashed flood-ravaged Queensland, Australia, this week, but another storm is about to hit the highly populated north coast - and it is much bigger.

Forecasters say Cyclone Yasi could reach 149 miles per hour, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Many are concerned that Yasi could mean setbacks for the coal-mining sector of the region, which was socked by recent massive flooding, the paper reports.

Yasi is expected hit overnight Wednesday, according to The Australian, and will come ashore between Innisfail and Proserpine, directly hitting Queensland's capital, Townsville.

Yasi follows Cyclone Anthony, which hit this week with winds reaching 80 miles an hour, according to the Courier-Mail. The newspaper also had extensive coverage of the recent flooding, which affected 3 million people in one of the country's most costly disasters. Last week, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard proposed a tax to help cover flood damage, estimated at $5.6 billion.

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Filed under: Australia • Weather
soundoff (176 Responses)
  1. Brissie-girl

    I live in Brisbane, have been through the floods and the cyclone is no laughing matter. The reports we are receiving here are extremely serious and it may only get worse. We are all feeling this one and scared for our friends and loved ones. Climate change or not lives are in danger and I can only hope that the lose is minimal. Queensland and Australia has been through enough weather events over the 3 months to last a lifetime. Australia is a rugged and great country, I love it here and know we can make it through – but it is going to be tough

    February 1, 2011 at 6:04 am | Report abuse |
  2. Skye

    The storm is now going to hit Cairns and almost 30,000 people are being evacuated. The cyclone is 500km wide and will further annihilate an already destroyed country. After trying to garner strength to rebuild the area of France and Germany combined we have a monster at our door. This is truly devastating.

    February 1, 2011 at 6:12 am | Report abuse |
  3. TeeCee

    To give you an idea, Yasi is expected to be bigger than Katrina. Google Yasi and see what it looks like from space, a total freak-out. Resort Islands and low-lying areas have been evacuated. It will continue on after making landfall for some time so the devastation area will be huge. Poor Queensland does not need this when only a couple of weeks ago 75% of the state was in flood. That is the size of Texas. And while we are on the subject of Texas, Yasi is about the same size. Hope that gives you Yanks an indication of the seriousness of this weather event. Global Warming has nothing to do with it, these extreme weather events occur on a cycle going back forever.

    February 1, 2011 at 7:13 am | Report abuse |
  4. in australia

    queensland capital is brisbane, not townsville. Yasi is about to hit Cairns, not Townsville. Please do a little bit of research and get your facts straight.

    February 1, 2011 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
    • TeeCee

      Apparently models say it will land in between Cairns and Townsville. Both will be affected. I have family in Townsville, they have been partially evacuated, schools and non-essential businesses all closed and they are battening down. I have family and friends in Cairns in the same situation.

      February 1, 2011 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
  5. Rossco 66

    This is the BIG ONE has been predicted to happen over here for years . A long heavy wet year and a busy cyclone season in the Coral Sea. Queensland is on its knees and will be soon on its back. Check out the Aussie Met service Web site for the Sat pictures impressive stuff.
    Townsville would like to be the Capital of North Queensland !!

    February 1, 2011 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
  6. Bailey

    FYI. Queensland's capital city is Brisbane. Not Townsville.

    February 1, 2011 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  7. dazza

    bigger than Katrina. Biggest cyclone ever seen in qld's recorded History catorgory 5. 300km/h+ wind speed 186mph. this is it. PLEASE Pray !!!!!!

    February 1, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Nafe

    Townsville – Queenslands capital?
    Pft, great to see that accurate and concise journalism is still a top priority over there at CNN....

    February 1, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |

    There is only 2000km between the picture and Yasi. Also, Brisbane is the capital of Queensland.

    Wikipedia is only a click away.

    February 4, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
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    September 1, 2011 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
  11. pletcherxhm

    yes,its cyclopean!

    September 6, 2011 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
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