TROPICAL CYCLONE ADVICE NUMBER 32 (Issued at 12:59 pm EST on Friday 20 February 2015)

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TROPICAL CYCLONE ADVICE NUMBER 32

Issued at 12:59 pm EST on Friday 20 February 2015

Headline:

Marcia weakens to category 3, currently impacting Rockhampton.

Areas Affected:

Warning zone: St Lawrence to Double Island Point, extending inland to Duaringa, Moura, Biloela, Monto, and Mundubbera

Watch zone: None

Cancelled zone: None

Details of Severe Tropical Cyclone Marcia at 1:00 pm EST:

Intensity: Category 3, sustained winds near the centre of 150 kilometres per hour with wind gusts to 205 kilometres per hour.

Location: within 9 kilometres of 23.2 degrees South 150.5 degrees East, estimated to be 25 kilometres west southwest of Yeppoon and 105 kilometres northwest of Gladstone.

Movement: south at 19 kilometres per hour.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Marcia, category 3, continues to move south over the northern Capricornia district and is expected to impact Rockhampton during the next couple of hours. It is expected to continue a southerly movement through today while slowly weakening.

A separate Severe Weather Warning is current south of Double Island Point and inland to the southern Burnett and eastern parts of the Darling Downs and Granite Belt.

Hazards:

The VERY DESTRUCTIVE CORE of Severe Tropical Cyclone Marcia, with gusts to 205 km/h, is currently impacting the Yeppoon and Rockhampton areas.

DESTRUCTIVE WINDS with wind gusts to 160 km/h are expected to extend further south and inland across the Capricornia and Burnett districts today, including Gladstone.

GALES are occurring about some coastal and island communities between St Lawrence and Double Island Point, and are expected to extend inland to areas including Moura, Biloela, Monto, and Mundubbera today and overnight.

Abnormally high tides will be experienced this morning with water levels expected to rise substantially above the highest tide of the year on the high tide. Note also that abnormally high tides are also likely during this evening’s high tide in parts of the warning area even though the cyclone is likely to weaker by then.

Coastal residents between St Lawrence and Double Island Point are specifically warned of the dangerous storm tide as the cyclone crosses the coast, and in the following high tide during this evening. The sea is likely to rise steadily up to a level well above the normal tide, with damaging waves and flooding of some low-lying areas close to the shoreline. People living in areas likely to be affected by this flooding should take measures to protect their property as much as possible and be prepared to follow instructions regarding evacuation of the area if advised to do so by the authorities.

Dangerous surf is also expected.

Heavy rainfall is already occurring about coastal and island communities between St Lawrence and Double Island Point, and is expected to extend further inland across the Capricornia, Wide Bay and Burnett, and the eastern parts of the Central Highlands and Coalfields districts later today as the cyclone moves south. A Flood Watch is current for the area.

Recommended Action:

– People in the path of this very dangerous cyclone should stay calm and remain in a secure shelter – above the expected water level – while the very destructive winds continue.

– Do not venture outside if you find yourself in the eye of the cyclone –

(very) destructive winds from a different direction could resume at any time.

– Follow the evacuation advice or directions of Police, Emergency Services personnel and local authorities.

Next Advice:

The next advice will be issued by 2:00 pm EST Friday 20 February.

This warning is also available through TV and Radio Broadcasts; the Bureau’s website at www.bom.gov.au or call 1300 659 212.  The Bureau and the State Emergency Service would appreciate this warning being broadcast regularly.

A map showing the track of the cyclone is available at:

http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone

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