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Cyclone Yasi Forces Whitsunday Resort Evacuations
Cyclone Yasi is heading towards an area between Innisfail and Mackay, threatening the Whitsunday Island and low-lying areas with a combination of Category 4 winds and a powerful storm surge.
The storm is expected to cross the coast between 10pm tonight and 4am Thursday.
It is understood compulsory evacuations could be enacted by Queensland Emergency authorities who fear that a high tide and ferocious winds will push sea waters into vulnerable coastal locations.
Whitsunday Island resorts have been evacuated and ports closed as Queensland Premier Anna Bligh warned of the "serious threat to our coast."
Yasi is another episode in a devastating summer of heartbreaking weather. It follows Cyclone Anthony which passed without major incident.
As well as flash flooding in coast communities, Premier Bligh said they could not rule out inundation in Emerald and Condamine already devastated by recent floods.
The Whitsundays tourism authority is advising people to leave the area if they don't feel safe while Hamilton Island spokeswoman Susan Sullivan stated "in the 25-year history of Hamilton Island it's unlike anything we've ever seen."
In anticipation of the what was predicted to be the Queensland's worst cyclone season in 40 years, Tourism Queensland ran a series of workshops to help tourism operators develop crisis management plans.
The seminars ran in November last year.
For more information go to www.tq.com.au/weatherproofyourbusiness
22nd October 2010 - HELPING QUEENSLAND TOURISM WEATHER THE STORM
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