Cyclone Debbie Claims First Casualty In Far North Queensland
A person has died in a fatal traffic incident near Proserpine, with the severe weather conditions of Cyclone Debbie playing a significant role in the crash.
The news was confirmed during a press conference with Police representative Ian Stewart on Monday morning.
Cyclone Debbie is currently still offshore, and is expected to cross the Queensland border just south of Ayr tomorrow morning.
It is expected to be classified as a category 4 cyclone when it meets land and is poised to bring winds stronger than that of Cyclone Yasi in 2011.
There are a number of police warnings in place, while entire areas are being encouraged to evacuate as soon as possible to avoid further incident.
Winds picking up to 100km/hr around the Whitsundays & Proserpine. 3.5k residents evacuated around Home Hill. 2k asked to leave near Bowen. pic.twitter.com/lkw0JtpOSz— Tegan George (@tegangeorge) March 27, 2017
If you are in a storm surge zone and you are directed to leave - you must leave. You cannot shelter from a storm surge. #CycloneDebbie— QPS Media Unit (@QPSmedia) March 27, 2017
People have largely complied with directed evacuations, but some refusing to leave. Police will go back & speak to them today #CycloneDebbie— QPS Media Unit (@QPSmedia) March 27, 2017
MP Annastacia Palaszczuk also stressed that there was no room for complacency from Townsville right down to Mackay.
The impact to Brisbane, if any, is yet to be determined.
Roads will close, so call 13 19 40 to check on conditions. People should stay off the roads, only travel if really necessary. #CycloneDebbie— QPS Media Unit (@QPSmedia) March 27, 2017