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Your stories: 'Dark clouds descend'

Queensland residents have been told it is now too late to escape as the most dangerous storm ever predicted to hit the state makes its approach.

Cyclone Yasi, a category five storm, will make landfall shortly. Here, BBC News website readers in the area tell of their anxious wait.

Dr Simon Smith, Cairns

All the patients in the hospital where I work were evacuated to Brisbane, and last night we also evacuated as well.

We live on the beach front, but have been moved to one of the bigger hotels in town.

We are now sitting in the bathroom, having barricaded ourselves in. We've bunkered down and are bracing ourselves for the worst.

People seem pretty calm, although I am not sure if they appreciate what is about to occur.

The cyclone is still well offshore but already there is a darkening cloud descending on the city.

The winds have started to pick up and some small debris is floating around. I am beginning to get worried.

Tania Moevao, Cairns

The weather is still calm at the moment. But the wind strength is escalating rapidly. We're expecting heavy showers.

Image caption "My biggest worry is not allowing the children to sense my fear"

We are waiting for the storm to approach in a few hours and are listening to radio updates and monitoring warning texts from the authorities.

My house is situated on higher ground, so 35 friends and family members who have been evacuated from low-lying areas around the Cairns business district are now staying with me.

Cairns resembles a ghost town. People are fearful. It's now a matter of bunkering down. There's very little to do but sit and wait.

We've stocked up on canned food and supplies and other essentials, as well as filling every container with water.

The windows are taped and we've cut branches from the trees that might have posed a threat.

My biggest worry is not allowing the children to sense my fear and keeping them occupied during the long wait indoors.

Claire Thomas, Edmonton

People are calm, prepared, resigned, and supportive.

I haven't seen any sign of panic yet. People in shops were stocking up sensibly. Although there were huge queues at petrol stations yesterday.

I am impressed by the support people are giving each other with everyone wishing each other luck and safety.

We are in Edmonton, 16km south of Cairns and my four-year-old daughter and I are staying with family members in their farmhouse.

The home is sturdy, we think, and are just hoping that the roof holds, but it is low-lying so we will wait and see whether water comes our way.

We all felt panic earlier on but now we know we are staying here and are trying to prepare. We are just getting on with it.

We saw lots of army trucks, ambulances and fire trucks when I went to visit my sister in the city earlier.

Only time will tell now. If we do survive, it will make one hell of a story for the grandkids!

Philip Baker, Cairns

Image caption "The windows have been taped"

I live in Cairns with my wife and young daughter. All is eerily quiet at the moment.

My wife, who is a nurse, worked a night shift at the Base Hospital evacuating EVERY patient. They were airlifted to Brisbane.

We're as prepared as we can be. Just sitting here now and waiting for Yasi to come along. There is little left to do but wait.

The authorities have been wonderful, supplying us with updates and the latest information via text. We've been told that we might lose power and phone lines in the next few hours.

We've bought provisions although there has been some panic buying of food and fuel.

There have also been reports of local supermarkets running out of bottled water, milk, bread and other essentials.

The windows have been taped and if the situation rapidly deteriorates we plan to bunker down in a windowless room - with just enough room to fit a single blow-up mattress on the floor. We're reasonably high up, so hopefully we should be okay.

It seemed a safer bet to stay in our home rather than flee or head to an overcrowded evacuation centre.

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