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Power, water shortages as Cyclone Ita stalks Australia

Published on Apr 13, 2014 12:10 PM
This NASA Earth Observatory handout satellite image received on April 12, 2014 acquired by Aqua’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer at 2 pm local time (0400 Universal Time) on April 11 shows Tropical Cyclone Ita as it bore down on Australia’s Cook Peninsula. -- PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (AFP) - Thousands of homes were without power and residents of worst-hit Cooktown were warned clean water was about to run out as cyclone Ita rolled along Australia's Barrier Reef coast on Sunday.

Downgraded from a category four to a category one storm after making landfall late Friday, Ita continued to bring heavy weather as it tracked along the coast, with roads, power and water cut and warnings of flash flooding from torrential rain.

Some 16,000 homes were without electricity and several roads were shut due to flooding, according to emergency officials. No deaths or major destruction have been reported.

In Cooktown, which bore the brunt of the storm as it barrelled into the coast, water was rationed to drinking and "minimal" sanitation only, with severe shortages due to storm damage.

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