A “monster” cyclone, expected to bring billions of dollars worth of damage according to the Insurance Council of Australia
(ICA), was downgraded to a category two system on Tuesday evening.
Tropical Cyclone Debbie, which made landfall between Bowen and Airlie Beach as a category four system at 1pm AEST, was downgraded to a category three hours later, and then to a category two system on Tuesday evening.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the full extent of damages will not be known until Wednesday morning, but revealed that there had been reports of damages including in Proserpine and other smaller communities between Bowen and Mackay.
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“We’re going to be getting a full assessment of the extent of the damage tomorrow [Wednesday] morning at first light,” she told ABC, warning Queenslanders to not leave their homes until they get the go-signal from authorities.
ICA said 90% of North Queenslanders have some kind of insurance coverage, with most home and contents policies covering cyclone damage.
The Bureau of Meteorology forecast said that a weakened Cyclone Debbie will curve to a more southerly track over inland Queensland on Wednesday; while widespread rainfall of up to 250 millimetres is expected in coastal catchments and further inland over the coming days.
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