Cyclone Ita members in Australia advised to avoid non essential travel

11 April 2014 ,  —


Travellers in Australia have been advised to defer non-essential travel to areas in the path of Severe Tropical Cyclone Ita.

The cyclone was forecast to make landfall as a Category Five storm (the highest on a five-point scale) around 18.00-20.00 (local time) on 11 April between Cape Melville and Cooktown.

As at 10.00 on 11 April, the following cyclone warnings and watches were in place:

Cyclone warning: For coastal areas from Cape Sidmouth to Innisfail, including Cooktown, Port Douglas and Cairns, and extending inland to locations, including Kalinga, Palmerville, Mareeba and Chillagoe.

Cyclone watch: For coastal areas from Innisfail to Cardwell (Queensland), extending to adjoining inland areas. When the storm makes landfall, very destructive winds of up to 186 miles per hour (300kph) are expected near its core, and gales will extend up to 124 miles (200km) from the centre.

Members are being provided with regularly updated travel advice, which will include but is not limited to the following:

• Defer non-essential travel to the affected areas during the passage of the cyclone
• Personnel in affected areas should follow all directives from emergency and security personnel on the ground and the State Emergency Service (SES), including regarding evacuation
• The Queensland SES can be called for assistance on 132 500
• Monitor the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) websiteand the local radio channels to track Ita's progress, and register with the local authorities. This is particularly salient for coastal residents between Cape Tribulation and Innisfail, including Cairns, in case the cyclone takes a more southerly track than forecast
• Personnel in the path of the storm should secure boats and property
• Avoid walking or driving on the streets as the winds get stronger and the associated dangers from flying debris increase

Follow local guidelines and shelter in place until the storm passes:

• Stay away from doors and windows; lock them
• Close curtains
• Turn off electrical and gas appliances
• Reduce the number of loose items in rooms
• Go to safest part of building – for most buildings this would be a bathroom (with small or no windows)
• For further information on cyclone preparedness and safety advice, visit the Queensland's Disaster Management Services website.

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