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Early reports of damage in wake of Australia's Cyclone Debbie

Early reports of damage in wake of Australia's Cyclone Debbie

The wall collapsed at Proserpine, roughly 900 km northwest of Brisbane, and the man was taken to the hospital.

One person in the Whitsunday Islands compared the winds to "freight trains coming through left and right". "Go to the Whitsundays they said, it'd be fun they said, attractive weather over here", holidaymaker Kurt Moore told the Sydney Morning Herald.

This is a slow-moving system and we are seeing families at the moment, they are getting hammered by this system. Debbie could end up being as severe as Yasi, Palaszczuk warned.

"We won't let our people out there yet, we'll get out first light in the morning", he said. Many locations in the cyclone's path have so far received 150-200 mm rain.

"Boats washed ashore, houses without roofs, windows smashed in, trees snapped in half, gum trees torn out of the ground and those that do remain standing, are bare and lifeless", she told the local Whitsunday Times.

Mrs Clarke, who is now in hospital at Townsville, said she contacted emergency services but they were unable to help due to the risky conditions.

Insurers are also bracing for a storm of claims in the wake of the cyclone.

While Ms Morgan said she is mostly bored and "fed up" of waiting, Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk has said people should not venture outside until morning.

But, in any case, many Queenslanders would on Wednesday find their "lives turned upside down" by Debbie, which was still causing widespread rain.

"It looked like a war zone, actually", he said.

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"Rather than coming in and just giving you one sucker punch, it's just hanging off and just belting us and belting us", Andrew Wilcox, the mayor of the Whitsunday regional council, told CNN.

"I'm trying to make sure everyone is OK", he told ABC television.

Debbie has since been downgraded to a tropical low - out of the cyclone category - but remains a serious hazard, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

"My own roller door blew off yesterday".

That did not deter some thrill-seeking bodyboarders who paddled out to surf in the heaving seas at Airlie Beach, television footage showed.

It also reaches inland to Collinsville, a mining town that was hit overnight by Debbie, which had by then devolved into a category two cyclone.

That storm caused about $1.5 billion worth of damage.

Mr Stewart said the weather had contributed to the death of a woman in a vehicle crash on Monday.

"We have power lines down with awnings ripped off buildings, a lot of signs knocked off", he told Nine Network. "Well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage", it adds. "Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks".

The federal government is on standby to help with the clean-up, with soldiers, helicopters and planes ready to mobilise as the full extent of Debbie's wrath reveals itself today.


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