Cyclone Jasper Expected to Bring Intense Rainfall and Powerful Winds to Australia’s Northeast

Cyclone Jasper Expected to Bring Intense Rainfall and Powerful Winds to Australia’s Northeast:

On Tuesday, communities in Australia’s northeastern region prepared for the imminent arrival of tropical cyclone Jasper, anticipating significant rainfall and potentially destructive winds within the next day. As part of precautionary measures, authorities established evacuation hubs and increased emergency personnel. Positioned approximately 250 kilometers (186 miles) off Queensland’s far north coast in the Coral Sea, Jasper is projected to strengthen into a category 2 cyclone, boasting wind gusts reaching speeds of up to 140 kilometers per hour, as indicated by the Bureau of Meteorology.

Anticipated heavy rainfall is expected to cover a coastal expanse spanning over 600 kilometers, encompassing tourist hotspot Cairns, home to approximately 150,000 residents. Certain regions may see a deluge of up to 500 mm (20 inches) within a 24-hour span, prompting authorities to caution about imminent flash floods.

Steven Miles, poised to assume the role of Queensland’s next premier, urged residents in the far north of the state to prepare promptly. He emphasized the importance of readiness, ensuring all necessary precautions are taken as this weather phenomenon approaches.

This summer, Australia is experiencing the impact of the El Niño phenomenon, known to incite severe weather events ranging from wildfires to tropical cyclones and extended periods of drought.

Cairns airport announced its closure for Tuesday night, suspending all domestic and international flights on Wednesday. Despite this, emergency services will still have access to the runway.

Reports from the media highlighted bare shelves in certain supermarkets, indicating a shortage of essential items like bottled water. Authorities advised the public to prepare by stocking up on food supplies and securing loose outdoor equipment.

Assistant Commissioner Brad Commens from the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services cautioned residents to remain vigilant regarding storm tides in the sea. These tides, characterized by water surges surpassing normal tide levels, often occur as cyclones approach, causing inundation in low-lying regions.

Commens emphasized the potential for flooding to extend significantly inland. To mitigate risks, he urged individuals residing along the eastern seaboard and in low-lying areas to take immediate precautions by arranging to stay with friends or in safer locations. This proactive step aims to ensure their safety and well-being during the looming weather threats.

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