Thousands of homes in Australia’s Barrier Reef coastal region remain without power and face clean water shortages as Cyclone Ita continues to batter the northern coastline.
Emergency authorities announce on Saturday that nearly 16,000 homes were without electricity and a number of roadways were shut down due to flooding while residents of worst-hit Cooktown were warned that clean water was about to run out.
The cyclone was downgraded from a category four to a category one storm after making landfall late Friday as it continued to bring heavy rain and strong wind along the coast, with reports of road closures due to flash flooding and cutoff of power and water.
However, no deaths or major destruction have so far been reported as a result of the huge storm.
Meanwhile, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman inspected the damage in Cooktown, where four buildings were destroyed and another 50 were damaged by the storm.
Banana plantations in the region were also reported to have flattened.
The Bureau of Meteorology said rainfall of up to 400 millimeters was expected in some areas on Sunday, bringing flash flooding and “abnormally high tides” with wind gusts of up to 110 kilometers per hour.
Before weakening offshore, Ita had threatened to be stronger than the monster Cyclone Yasi system that tore through the region just over three years ago, ripping homes from their foundations and devastating crops.
Tropical cyclones are common in Australia’s northeast and northwest during the warmer months.
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