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Australia's far north battens down for biggest cyclone since 2011

Published on Apr 10, 2014 3:07 PM
 
This April 8, 2014 NASA Aqua satellite image shows Tropical Cyclone Ita churning off the coast of Australia. Australia's sparsely populated northern tip was on Thursday, April 10, 2014, preparing for the largest cyclone to hit the area since Cyclone Yasi smashed into Queensland in 2011, ripping homes from their foundations and devastating swathes of farmland. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia's sparsely populated northern tip was on Thursday preparing for the largest cyclone to hit the area since Cyclone Yasi smashed into Queensland in 2011, ripping homes from their foundations and devastating swathes of farmland.

Tropical Cyclone Ita, a category-four storm on a scale in which five is the highest, is packing winds of 260 kmh and is set to lash the Cape York region late on Friday.

Queensland's Premier Campbell Newman, who cut short a visit to Asia to deal with the storm, said 9,000 people could be affected.

"The big concerns people need to prepare for are storm surge... the normal high winds that can cause debris flying around... and finally of course very intense rain causing quite severe local flooding," he said.

 
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