QLD weather damaging mining industry again

The terrible weather that has battered Queensland and brought part of the mining industry to a halt is not expected to ease any time soon.

Flash flooding warnings are now in place across the state, after Category Two Cyclone Anthony crossed the north Queensland coast last night, with winds up to 155 kilometres an hour.

Rain is extending right over to western Queensland as ex-tropical cyclone Anthony moves inland.

Around 10 o’clock last night, the Category Two system crossed the coast near Bowen, but was then downgraded to a low as it moved inland.

There have been reports of minor damage to buildings and trees have been uprooted in the winds.

About 10 000 homes and properties are reportedly without power in the Bowen, Airlie Beach and Sarina areas.

The eye of the storm hit Bowen at 9:15pm and senior weather forecaster Rick Threlfall said the cyclone is still causing heavy rain.

“It’s going to drag its rain with it into the interior of the state, so it’s moving into the central west area now and will carry on into the south-west over the next 24 hours or so.”

The low has already seen more than 340 millimetres of rain fall inland of Mackay.

Flood warnings remain in place for rivers and streams between Townsville and Mackay and the Pioneer River.

Townsville and Mackay have been pre-emptively declared disaster areas to allow emergency crews to evacuate homes if necessary.

Australia’s largest coal terminals, the Abbot and Hay Point have closed operations ahead of the expected cyclones.



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A second cyclone, Yasi is expected to hit Queensland’s tropical coast by Thursday.

"It’s very impressive on the satellite and absolutely dwarfs tropical cyclone Anthony," said Gordon Banks, senior forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology.

"It will be a quiet large and dangerous cyclone … category three or higher. It will cause some grief."

The bureau predicts Yasi will survive as a cyclone over Queensland’s interior until the weekend.

Mayor of the Burdekin Shire Council, Lyn McLaughlin said residents were preparing for further disaster, stocking up on torches, batteries and water.

"The biggest threat are trees coming down on powerlines," she told AAP. "We’d encourage people to be prepared for that."

Prime Minister Julia Gillard sympathised with the state and said the latest extreme weather is “another big, cruel blow coming on top of what has already been a summer of tragedy .”

“After the summer that’s been, can any more cruel blows actually land,” she asked.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said emergency services were prepared.

"We are not battle weary, we are battle ready and our highly trained people are well rested and ready to respond," she said.

Image: Bureau of Meteorology

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