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Cyclone Kirrily Ravages North Queensland, Thousands Powerless

Cyclone Kirrily Ravages North Queensland, Thousands Powerless
Image courtesy of weatherzone.com.au

Tropical Cyclone Kirrily struck northwest of Townsville, delivering powerful winds and heavy rain.

After crossing the Queensland coast northwest of Townsville, Cyclone Kirrily has been downgraded to a tropical low, having been one of the most potent systems observed in the northern region.

Cyclone Kirrily Makes Landfall as Category 3, then Downgraded to Tropical Low

Tropical Cyclone Kirrily, initially barreling towards the Queensland coast as a severe category three system with gusts reaching up to 170km/h, has now been downgraded to a tropical low.

Despite the downgrade, authorities warn that the system still poses a threat, bringing strong winds and heavy rain as it moves inland.

The powerful cyclone made landfall northwest of Townsville, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

The Bureau of Meteorology indicates that Kirrily, though no longer a major cyclone, will carry significant moisture as it advances inland, impacting central and western parts of Queensland.

Senior meteorologist Miriam Bradbury stated, “It will carry a lot of that moisture with it, gradually pushing it through central and then more western parts of Queensland.”

Kirrily reached the coast on Thursday night as a category three system but weakened to a category two just before making landfall around 10 pm. After moving inland, its intensity further decreased to a category one system, with maximum gusts of 120km/h around midnight.

Describing the event, Bradbury highlighted that it was more of a wind event than a rain event. Rainfall totals measured between 50 to 70mm, but the impact was predominantly wind-related, resulting in downed trees and debris on roads.

Offshore reefs experienced peak gusts up to 140km/h, with sustained winds exceeding 116km/h. Closer to the coast, Alva Beach recorded top gusts of 107km/h, while the Townsville area experienced gusts of 91km/h.

As Kirrily approached, over 40,000 homes were left without power, with the majority of outages reported in Townsville. Power restoration efforts are expected to commence on Friday morning as energy supplier Ergon evaluates the extent of the damage caused by the cyclone.

Authorities urge residents in affected areas to remain vigilant and follow safety guidelines as Tropical Cyclone Kirrily continues its journey inland, potentially causing further disruptions.

Vic

Writer, biker and most of all a loving father and husband.