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Cyclone Oswald forms in Gulf of Carpentaria

By Sharnie Kim and Kirsty Nancarrow, Tuesday January 22, 2013 - 02:16 EDT
ABC image
Forecasters say the system will dump torrential rain across the state's far north. - ABC

Residents across the Cape York Peninsula are bracing for flooding and gale-force winds as Tropical Cyclone Oswald nears the coast.

A cyclone warning is in place from Karumba to Cape York, as the category one system moves east through the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Oswald is expected to make landfall somewhere between Kowanyama and Aurukun early on Tuesday morning.

The weather bureau says gale-force winds of 90 kilometres an hour and flooding rain is likely in areas between Karumba and Torres Strait.

It warns heavy rainfall may lead to flooding in areas between Karumba and Cape York on Monday night and into Tuesday.

Some communities are already cut-off and have been without power since Monday afternoon.



Cairns district disaster co-ordinator Acting Superintendent Rhys Newton says residents will need to pay attention to the wind.

"We can expect that there will be some airborne debris that may cause some damage to some infrastructure there," he said.

Aurukun's disaster co-ordinator Senior Sergeant Brendan McMahon says most of his community has already lost power.

"We're not too worried. We're just planning and we'll do what we've planned for," he said.

On Monday, Senior Sergeant McMahon said flights were stopped, the roads were closed and boats had been brought back to shore.

He said the wind was picking up and there had been localised flooding from high tides but the town itself has not flooded.

"The local community store has enough food for a couple of weeks," he said.

"There's enough fuel, everyone's secure.

"The older people in town are listed and monitored."



Peter McCulkin from the Weipa Town Authority says Cape York residents should avoid unnecessary travel.

"Our local disaster management group's been in contact right throughout the weekend and I think we've pretty much got everything in hand," he said.

"We're losing a number of trees around town, only minor damage, but people probably need to be aware of electrical hazards they pose, those fallen power lines, and also parking under trees as well."

Forecaster Tony Auden says the wet season appears to have finally arrived.

"I wouldn't be too surprised to see falls at times on the north tropical coast of 200mm to 300mm per day," he said.

"It's not necessarily that far out of the usual, it's regular monsoonal weather, but we could see rainfalls heavy enough to give us low-lying flooding and a couple of issues at least.

"If the system does get over land, it's not likely to intensify too much further, but having said that we do broadly expect heavy rainfall and at least some fairly fresh monsoon winds over much of northern Queensland for the next few days."


- ABC

© ABC 2013

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