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    Cyclone Debbie forms with potential to hit the coast near Townsville as a category 4 system


    Details of Tropical Cyclone Debbie at 10:00 am AEST:

    Intensity: category 1, sustained winds near the centre of 65 kilometres per hour with wind gusts to 95 kilometres per hour
    Current Location: 650 kilometres east of Cairns and 580 kilometres east northeast of Townsville 
    Movement: southwest at 9 kilometres per hour

    The tropical low over the central Coral Sea has recently developed into Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

    The system has been moving slowly southwards overnight, but has recently shown signs of shifting onto a west-southwest track.

    This general west-southwesterly motion is expected to continue for the next few days, bringing the cyclone towards the north Queensland coast.

    Conditions are expected to favour the continued intensification of the cyclone as it approaches the coast over the weekend and into early next week.

    Hazards:

    Gales are not expected to develop about the Queensland east coast today, however they could develop about the coast and islands between Cape Tribulation and St Lawrence, including the Whitsunday Islands, during Sunday.

    Based on the current forecast track, abnormally high tides are expected to occur between at least Lucinda and Mackay as the cyclone approaches the coast. Large waves may also develop along the beachfront.

    Areas of heavy rain are expected to develop about parts of the northern and central Queensland coast and adjacent inland areas into Sunday. A Flood Watch is current for coastal catchments between Cooktown and Mackay, extending inland to the eastern Gulf River catchments.

    Recommended Action:

    People between Cape Tribulation and St Lawrence should consider what action they will need to take if the cyclone threat increases.
    - Information is available from your local government
    - For cyclone preparedness and safety advice, visit Queensland's Disaster Management
    Services website - click here to access the site
    - For emergency assistance call the Queensland State Emergency Service (SES) on
    132 500 (for assistance with storm damage, rising flood water, fallen trees on buildings
    or roof damage)