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Australia avoids worst of Cyclone Ita but more wind and rain due

Published on Apr 12, 2014 11:35 AM
This Nasa Earth Observatory handout satellite image received on April 12, 2014 acquired by Aqua’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on April 11 shows Tropical Cyclone Ita as it bore down on Australia’s Cook Peninsula. -- PHOTO: AFP

PERTH (REUTERS) - Australia's north-east escaped the worst of a tropical cyclone that was expected to wreak havoc and bring dangerous storm tides after it weakened and was downgraded on Saturday.

There were no reports of injuries and while power was cut to some communities and buildings sustained some damage, there were no reports of major damage to infrastructure, authorities said.

"I am greatly relieved that at this time we've had no reports of either death or injury," Queensland Premier Campbell Newman said.

Even though tropical Cyclone Ita was downgraded from a Category 5 storm to Category 1, Mr Newman urged residents to stay at home or in shelters as wind gusts of up to 120 km per hour and heavy rain were still forecast for some areas.

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