Cyclone Ita: Queensland surveys storm damage
- 12 April 2014
- From the section Asia
Residents in northern Queensland are surveying the damage after Cyclone Ita brought winds of up to 230km/h (140mph) to north-eastern Australia.
Some communities have been left without power, with damage to some buildings, but no casualties have been reported.
The cyclone made landfall at Cape Flattery but weakened as it travelled inland, Australia's Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said.
It is the strongest storm to hit since Cyclone Yasi, which struck in 2011.
Previously classed as a category-five storm, Ita was later downgraded by the BOM to category one.
Tens of thousands of people hunkered down overnight amid warnings of severe gales, flash flooding and storm tides.
Officials say power lines and phones were knocked out by the cyclone, but there were no reports of major destruction to infrastructure.
"I am greatly relieved that at this time we've had no reports of either death or injury," Queensland Premier Campbell Newman said, quoted by Reuters news agency.
He warned residents to remain inside their homes or shelters because of potential further destruction on Saturday, with wind gust up to 120km/h (74mph) and heavy rain forecast.
In Cooktown, where some 300 residents spent the night in an evacuation centre, officials said the roofs of at least two homes were ripped off and a pub was damaged in the strong winds.
"There's a lot of vegetation on the road and we've unfortunately seen some buildings damaged...but there hasn't been a lot of structural damage," Cooktown Mayor Peter Scott told the Associated Press news agency.
Australia's weather bureau has warned of wind gusts of up to 120km/h (74mph) as the cyclone moves south of Cooktown to Port Douglas, ABC reports.
BOM's Ken Kato was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying he expected the cyclone to head out "into the Coral Sea somewhere off the north tropical coast" during the day.
But, he adds, "it's still packing a fair punch".
Residents in the path of the cyclone have been urged to "stay calm and remain in a secure shelter".
A cyclone warning is in place for coastal areas from Cooktown to Innisfail, including Port Douglas and Cairns and a number of inland areas.
Cyclone Ita brought torrential rain to the Solomon Islands late last week, causing flash floods that left at least 21 people dead.
Are you in Queensland? Have you been affected by Cyclone Ita? If you would be happy to speak with the BBC please email firstname.lastname@example.org using subject Cyclone Ita.