Cyclone Ita, a powerful category five storm, is moments from hitting the north coast of the tropical city of Cairns, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said.
North Queenslanders have been warned to prepare for a worst-case scenario that could see storm surges hit more populated areas like Cairns.
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman says dangerous storm surges could hit more densely populated areas, adding the effects of Ita could even head south and hit Cairns.
“If the track changes, then we could see more significant impacts along the coast from Cooktown all the way through to Cairns and also probably further south,’’ Mr Newman told reporters in Cairns.
“People should be concerned if the track changes down the coast for a storm surge.’’ source
Cairns Regional Council had since advised residents in low lying areas to self-evacuate, even though no public shelters were yet open.