Cyclone Debbie lashes Queensland coast

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Tropical Cyclone Debbie barreled down Tuesday on northeast Australia, dumping torrential rain on the region and leaving more than 50,000 homes without power.

The massive storm is the most powerful since Cyclone Yasi, a Category 5 storm which tore through the region in 2011.
Debbie is packing sustained winds of 185 kph (114 mph), with gusts reaching more than 262 kph (163 mph).
The worst of the damage so far appears to have been in the Whitsunday Islands, a popular destination for tourists hoping to catch a glimpse of the Great Barrier Reef.
"The ferocity of these wind speeds is actually taking roofs of houses, it's sending fences up in the sky," Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told CNN.
Officials and meteorologists warn that the cyclone's slow progress means it's likely to pose a greater danger to the region's 250,000 people than speedier storms.
"Rather than coming in and just giving you one sucker punch, it's just hanging off and just belting us and belting us," Andrew Wilcox, the mayor of the Whitsunday regional council, told CNN.
Queensland police commissioner Ian Stewart compared it to "a battering ram" in an interview with 7 News.
The storm made landfall as a Category 4 cyclone, the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane. It's now been downgraded to a Category 3 cyclone, which is comparable to a Category 1 hurricane.
Flood dangers
Mayor Wilcox said Cyclone Debbie is the worst storm he's ever seen in the 48 years he's lived in the area.

Source: CNN. March 28, 2017. 'Fences up in the sky': Cyclone Debbie lashes Queensland coast