Monster Cyclone Slams Into Australia
Yasi expected to wreak havoc in Queensland
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2011 9:58 AM CST
A woman walks along the waterfront in Cairns, Australia, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, as a monster cyclone approaches the northeast coast.   (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
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(Newser) – As the US weathers its latest snowpocalypse, Australia battened down the hatches for what Queensland's premier is calling "the most catastrophic storm to ever hit our coast." "The time for movement and evacuation has now passed," Premier Anna Bligh said as Cyclone Yasi roared into her state as a monster Category Five storm packing winds of up to 190mph. At least 90,000 people are without power, reports the BBC.

Residents who opted to stay were warned by rescue officials that they were on their own for at least 24 hours, and Bligh said the monster storm could pummel her state for up to three days. Tidal surges could hit 30 feet, which would flood much of the coast, and experts say Yasi could destroy even so-called "cyclone-proof" buildings. "We are in completely uncharted waters," said Bligh.
 

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