Cyclone Yasi’s imminent threat is continuing to cause disruptions, with Rio Tinto closing down its Hail Creek mine, north west of Mackay in north Queensland.
Rio is not the first company to close operations due to the cyclone, which is expected to be worse than Cyclone Larry in 2006.
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Xstrata has closed its Collinsville mine and its Newlands Coal mine at Suttor Creek may be forced to close too.
QR National has suspended operations, and all ports are closed.
Winds of up to 250 kilometres an hour are expected when the cyclone hits tropical Queensland on Thursday and Premier Anna Bligh has warned people to exercise caution.
"It’s very important people understand that any calm is not an opportunity to go walking outside and to have a look around," she said.
"This is such a big system that this eye could last for more than an hour and at the end of that period the next thing that will be felt is the strongest possible winds," she said.
Queensland state disaster co-ordinator Ian Stewart echoed the Premier’s calls and said people who need to evacuate should do so.
"Please make no mistake. This storm is a deadly event," he said.
The RSPCA has already begun evacuating animals from pounds located in the path of the storm and 205 hospital patients in Cairns will be airlifted to Brisbane.
Image: Japanese Meteorological Agency/Bureau of Meteorology. Tropical Cyclone Yasi approaches the northern Queensland coast