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. Sutler

    For those not up to speed with CNN's lingo.
    The heading actually reads:
    "149 hours from now Packers wallop Steelers"

    January 31, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • lakykaka

      Like a sub par weatherman in a cheap sports coat...your forecast is way off.

      January 31, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • lakykaka

      go Steelers!

      January 31, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Grumpster

      The Pack will melt the steel curtain like a cheap chain link fence.

      January 31, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazmin

      Sad that anyone would take something this potentially devasting and use it as comedy relief. Says alot both both of these teams fans.

      January 31, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mel

      I am huge Steelers fan and agree that these comments are inappropriate here. Seriously, people. There is a time and a place.

      January 31, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • brian


      January 31, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Townsville is NOT the capital of Queensland. That would be Brisbane.

      January 31, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Okay

      No, really?

      January 31, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fran

      To Jazmin: oooohh poor baby; grow a pair, will you!

      January 31, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • blee

      Fran, how about grow a heart....

      January 31, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Janine

      How about you grow up? People have lost their lives, their homes and there's more destruction on the way and you're making apparent "witty", sarcastic comments.

      January 31, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Skye

      If this were your family or your house or your life you would think differently. Shame on you.

      February 1, 2011 at 6:20 am | Report abuse |
  2. Zenduane

    The Koch brothers are meeting in California to tell us there is no such thing as climate change. Perhaps they should go to Australia for this and walk around in the poisoned water or how about coming to New England (where I am) to experience tomorrow's "life threatening" storm first hand? Heck, let's have a Tea Party convention here. Oh, how we will laugh.

    January 31, 2011 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • rrock

      The Kock brothers must be well educated scientists that have reviewed all the climate data.

      January 31, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      The question isn't whether there is climate change – the question is whether man is changing anything. The climate certainly changed many times before the advent of men.

      The greater question is; can capitalism survive without the fires of industry.

      January 31, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      RROCK: If you don't even know who these Koch brothers are, how do YOU know anything about any data? Oh, I know, based on just the way you're trying so hard to be funny with the misspelling of their name, I'm guess you are about eight and haven't even had middle school-level basic earth science yet. Got it.

      January 31, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nightsun2k7

      Some people, (mainly conservatives in your country) will try to tell you that this is just normal earth changing cycles and that this has happened before and will happen again. They are right, but what they fail to tell you or even realize is that it usually takes thousands and thousands of years for these cycles to happen..........not 30!! Always remember in your country, the word conservative starts with "con" and they seem to be the best at it.

      January 31, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • suesark

      For the LIFE of me, I'll never know how or WHY climate change has become a political issue! Does it always have to be that one side takes one position and the other takes the opposite??? What if climate change ISN'T man's fault, but is cyclical? And if that, then are we to not try to correct the situation? I mean, wouldn't we be better off if we erred on the side of caution here? If our climate is changing, sooner or later it will not be compatible with man's needs. Shouldn't we be trying to do something REGARDLESS if its man's fault or just part of a cycle? Or, we could just argue about who is right and who is wrong, I suppose....until it's too late.

      January 31, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Heimlick

      "They are right, but what they fail to tell you or even realize is that it usually takes thousands and thousands of years for these cycles to happen..........not 30!! "

      That is INCORRECT. The changes were INSTANTANEOUS. Volcanic and meteoric destructive forces caused some of the most gargantuan climate changes in all of history. They were in a SPLIT SECOND.

      Man is a product of evolution. Whatever comes of the beings of the process is meant to be by the process itself.

      Live with it.

      January 31, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • erikiscool

      Bill, we have already perhaps forever altered the rivers, forests and the landscape of our planet. Try some perspective – the earth is 7926 miles in diameter, yet the atmosphere becomes too thin to breathe at the height of Mt. Everest which is only 5 miles. That's .06% of the diameter of the earth – just a very thin layer really. What makes you think we haven't already irreversably altered our whisp of an atmosphere? Metric tons of carbon emitted yearly into the atmosphere have grown from virtually nil in 1800 to 9 billion today.

      January 31, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • ok

      uh oh, looks like Cobra got the "weather dominator" up and running

      January 31, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • mehackney

      it's a funny debate not sure which side is funnier the side that wants everyone to change what we been doing since the invention of the wheel... or the side that thinks this is the only way to do things....guess your both right and both wrong at the same time

      January 31, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • DB

      Does climate change include the upcoming ice age?

      January 31, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • BE

      Error in story: No, Townsville is not the capital of QLD, Brisbane is.

      January 31, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • jmlstl


      why do you selectively pick the 30 years that supports your point of view. You even contradicted yourself within the same post. Yes, mother nature is a Bi!@& and will take it upon herself to remedy the imbalance and we should all learn to conserve, recyclr, etc...I am sure that you live in your perfect little bubble and don't do anything to contribute to the imbalance,,,

      January 31, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim in San Mateo

      Climate change isn't rocket science. When the temperature goes up that means there is more energy in the system and how does that energy manifest itself? Fiercer and fiercer storms. That energy has to go somewhere.

      How much energy is that? Think in terms of the amount of energy that it takes to keep New York city running for a month, six months, or a year? The amounts are staggering.

      And if you think this winter is something, wait 10, 20 or 30 years. This year's storms will seem like a picnic in comparison.

      January 31, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brasil1958

      @Aussieboy. Good luck mate. Now looks like will hit just south of Cairns. I was in Cairns last March. Went scuba on the reef. Fantastic people and nice spot. Webcams show its still mild which is how deceptive things are before a hurricane/cyclone. Port Moresby getting hit with outer bands. Inner bands tightening. Should see more eye definition as it intensifies. Batten down the hatches and hope it scoots by quickly. Inland rain will be huge problem. If it hits Cairns it will be at low tide. Mayor says not much surge danger. Possibly reef will help. Good luck

      January 31, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has written extensively on the El Nino and La Nina weather patters which occur every 10-12 years in this region to varying degrees. Some of these cycles are worse than others. Look at the last major floods in Qld to the earliest recorded ones which occurred long before any serious industry could have created such extreme weather..........Oh well, just remember that those liberal left wing types are always trying to pull the wool over your eyes. Remember, "liberal" begins with "li" (short for lie and liars) and are very good at creative story telling.

      February 1, 2011 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Long Beach, California

      do your homework....global warming and ice ages are natural weather phenomenons that occurs cyclicly for as long as sciejntists methods can measure......does the human factor impact? yes, but at the panic levels being created!

      February 1, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Karl

    Queensland's capital is not Townsville, but Brisbane.

    January 31, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • AtrusPrime

      Try not to cloud a badly written story with facts please.

      January 31, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • tct

      It's a natural mistake, like when people think Oroville is the capital of California.

      January 31, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Knucklehead61

      Townsville is okay. The Power Puff Girls stand at the ready. Mojojojo is clearly behind this, using his Cyclone Generator.

      January 31, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • mobrule

      where do you think you are? on the internet it's common practice to slap together any old article asap with no regard for a silly thing like facts, grammar, spelling....

      January 31, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      @mobrule: So who twisted your arm to make you log on and get your news here? Posting snarky, whiney complaints and yet... HERE YOU ARE. Hilarious.

      January 31, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • DaisyinAZ

      Knucklehead...you beat me to it! lol!

      January 31, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roger Ogilvy Thornhill

      Townsville sounds much more quaint than Brisbane though. And the pronunciation of Brisbane is beyond us in the U.S. We keep saying BRIZZ BAYN. So we're just going to say Townsville is the capital from now on and you guys should just get used to it.

      January 31, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • JT

      Heck, even I knew that. And FTR, Toronto is not the capital of Canada...

      January 31, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roger Ogilvy Thornhill

      Can someone Tweet the CNN news crew? They can't find the Capitol buildings anywhere. They need some official-looking backgrounds for their in-depth analysis of the storms down there in Queensland, Austria. 🙂

      January 31, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aussieboy

      I'm in Townsville, and things are looking grim at the moment. It is still about 24hrs away, and lots of people are evacuating the coastal areas. It's pretty scary at the moment, just not knowing where this monster is headed. 250kph winds are not a very nice sight, so we'll just hold on and hope everyone will be ok.

      January 31, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brasil1958

      @aussieboy. Up to a meter (3.3 feet for US) of rain predicted. Looks like previous cyclone now making a turn inland back towards NSW. Must still have significant rain in it. Yasi predictions will head inland for 1,000 km. Trust you know all this but info for US/Canada who are only getting brief news but can find much more on web. Situation in Egypt dominating news. I'm In Alberta and weather is COLD. Many Aussies work our ski hills during winter. Super people. Some kiwi's too. Good luck mate. Keep posting status. Cheers.

      January 31, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Thenewfoxgop

    the new gop says.. We love you president obama. We were vicious and much more but we thought you were a high school politician. Please allow us to join you in bowing to princes kings or various power brokers. Love is our gop.. We dont want clinton back..we love the oil. Kiss kiss obama .gun control? We will think about it. Nothing hasty..right george bush senior?

    January 31, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Going John Galt

      This is why those bath soaps need to be illegal. Look what it does to a person's brain.

      January 31, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • brad

      We are all now more stupid from reading your comment!

      January 31, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      What are you saying? Can you form a sentence?

      January 31, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. tomcat

    CNN...it would be nice if your blogs were factual. Karl is correct. How much time would it take Ms. Fantz to get her facts right?

    January 31, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      You know how you can best protest? Don't log on to cnn.com., don't read their articles, and don't post a comment. How hard is that? Or do you and your ilk just like to complain?

      January 31, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Texas Pete

      This is like thinking that Cleveland is the capital of the US. And the north coast of queensland is not really all that populated, except by maybe Aussie standards. The "Heavily populated" area that is about to be hit has a population density similar to Vermont.

      January 31, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • JT


      Don't know if you know this or not, but complaints lead to change. Sitting around saying nothing or going to a different site leads to... nothing being changed.

      January 31, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Thenewfoxgop

    not weather but sports. Taking no bets and knowing that love of poltics by oil and wallmart complete with crosses of looming church forclosures. By august... Yes..now they love you president obama 2012 as the new improved bush.

    January 31, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • what the

      Someone let their pet monkey play with the computer again

      January 31, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      Pet monkey?!?! I don't think this moron has a brain as complex as a monkey's.
      I'm sure that some of his words make sense to him – but I'll be damned if I can figure it out...
      Moron with internet service and no job fills up comments section with crap – should be his username...

      January 31, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anthony

      just to get the details right.... Brisbane is the capital of Queensland, Townsville is just a country town with a few army bases..... but hey... only 1500km off......

      January 31, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Billysunshine

    The third paragraph above mentions Queensland capital, Townsville. This is incorrect. The capital of Queensland is Brisbane.

    January 31, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bill constantine

    Here in Las Vegas at 9 AM on Jan. 31st it is 69 degrees out side and clear skies....but I will not be surprised to see in the future some kind of climate exchange....Here in Nevada we have the Atomic Bomb and the bad weather is afraid to play around with us.....I do not want to see bad weather like it has been any were in the world....Nevgreco the Greek from Las Vegas..Double or nothing...

    January 31, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dan

    When it rains, it pours.....

    January 31, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Blake

    Great reporting CNN, you got the capital of Queensland wrong.

    January 31, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Cesar

    What Sutler actually is trying to say is "Steelers will wallop Packers."

    January 31, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ward Wiliam

    Queensland's capital................Townsville ?????????????????????????

    Its BRISBANE you halfwit journalists.

    January 31, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • drwako

      You think thats bad some twit on here thinks Australia is just and island...in that respect ...all continents are islands ...just damned big ones.

      January 31, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sussay

    Good grief, poor Australia. Hang in there!

    January 31, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Colin

    Brisbane is the capital of Queensland, not Townsville.

    January 31, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dim Jon

      We all know Brisbane is in Bavaria. Come on.

      January 31, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Kim

    Seriously, Townsville? You cannot be that stupid can you?

    January 31, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
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