25 Dec 2010

Cyclone hits Queensland coast

11:30 am on 25 December 2010

A cyclone has crossed the far north Queensland coast, bringing heavy rain and winds of up to 105 kilometres an hour.

Rainfall of about 100 millimetres has been recorded in the space of an hour.

Forecasters say the winds dropped in intensity as Cyclone Tasha crossed the coast, and heavy rain is now the main concern.

The Australian weather bureau says the category-one cyclone will continue to weaken over the next few hours as it moves further inland.

Hundreds of emergency workers and volunteers in Queensland have put their Christmas plans on hold to prepare for the cyclone. A severe weather warning has been issued for much of the state.

Flooding is already causing major problems in many parts of the state, cutting off some roads and rural communities.

Emergency services are advising residents from Port Douglas to Lucinda to stay indoors until the cyclone has passed.