Cairns Council says some residents may need to evacuate before Cyclone Yasi
RESIDENTS in low lying areas south of Cairns are being urged to consider voluntary evacuations as Tropical Cyclone Yasi, which is now expected to pack 250km/h plus winds, threatens the coast.
10:45 UPDATE: Cairns Mayor Val Schier, who this morning was in a state wide telephone hook-up with disaster experts, Premier Anna Bligh and Queensland Bureau of Meteorology director Jim Davidson said the storm was now predicted to reach high category-four status."That could mean winds in excess of 250km/h," she said. "We are particularly concerned for the south between Cairns and Innisfail as the surge threat is greatest in that area.
"It (evacuation) is not mandatory yet as there is not enough information on possible surge heights. Cr Schier described the meeting as both sobering and frightening. "(So) what we are urging people to do in low lying areas is to voluntarily evacuate to higher ground," she said.
"People should contact friends who live in nearby safer areas."
Cr Shier said the impact on the low-lying township of Cardwell was also of great concern.
Cairns southside councillor Paul Gregory, who headed up the response to Cyclone Larry in Babinda and Gordonvale, said storm surge posed a particular threat to the seaside villages of Bramston Beach and Russell Heads.
He told The Cairns Post he had sent emails out through his networks advising of the threat.
Cr Gregory said one saving grace was that the predicted crossing time of 1am on Thursday was at around low tide.
Irrespective of storm surge he warned all residents to stay inside as the eye of Yasi crossed the coast. "That could be as long as an hour," Cr Gregory said. Cr Schier also said she expected Education Queensland to send letters home with school students later today advising of school closures tomorrow. She said as of this evening should be locating herself at the new Cairns Regional Council disaster management centre at Woree for the duration of the event.
Cyclone Yasi heads for Cairns: Tuesday morning BoM