Jan 18, 2021

NQ residents urged to prepare as cyclone hovers off coast

NQ residents urged to prepare as cyclone hovers off coast The cyclone tracking map issued at 10.47am January 18.

Tropical cyclone Kimi is moving slowly south and may cross the coast overnight or on Tuesday on current tracking, the Bureau of Meteorology says.

At 10am today (January 18) cyclone Kimi was estimated to be  90km east of Cairns and 250km north of Townsville.

The warning zone for the category 1 cyclone extends from Port Douglas to Ayr.

The latest Bureau of Meteorology advice, issued at 10.34am, was that cyclone Kimi was likely to get closer to the coast later today and may intensify a little further to a category 2 system.

Based on the current forecast track, the cyclone may cross the coast overnight or Tuesday between about Innisfail and Lucinda, however there remains considerable uncertainty with the crossing time and location.

The bureau urged people between Port Douglas and Ayr to immediately commence or continue preparations, especially securing boats and property.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said that while the cyclone was still forecast to track north of Townsville, the city’s residents should have their disaster preparations in place.

“At the moment, the Bureau of Meteorology’s tracking places Tropical Cyclone Kimi making landfall between Innisfail and Lucinda, but there is still considerable uncertainty and Townsville is expected to experience rainfall and strong winds,” Cr Hill said.

“While this rain is typical for our wet season, we’re still urging residents to be prepared and have their cyclone kit ready.

“This includes having fresh water and food available for up to three days and having spare batteries available. Residents should also secure loose objects in their yard to prevent them becoming projectile.”

Cr Hill said Council’s Emergency Response Group (ERG) had met and was checking preparedness.

“Council staff are preparing sandbagging locations across the city ahead of the wet weather, residents can check our disaster dashboard to find their closest sandbagging location,” she said.

Destructive winds with gusts to 130 km/h may develop about coastal and island communities between Innisfail and Lucinda this evening or Tuesday morning as the core of the cyclone approaches.

Heavy rainfall with the potential to produce flash flooding and major river flooding is expected to affect coastal and adjacent inland areas between Cairns and Townsville tonight and on Tuesday.