Tropical cyclone set to strengthen off Aus coast

A tropical cyclone off Australia's northeast coast is forecast to intensify throughout Wednesday and overnight, with gale force winds impacting parts of the coastline.

Updated Mar 03, 2021 10:18 AM

Tropical cyclone set to strengthen off Aus coast

As of Wednesday morning, tropical cyclone Niran has classified a category 2, creating sustained winds near its centre of around 100 km/h with gusts up to 140 km/h, reports Xinhua news agency.

Forecasters expect Niran to intensify to a category 3 by early Thursday morning as it accelerated in speed in a southeasterly direction away from the coast.

"Tropical cyclone Niran is expected to remain slow-moving off the north Queensland coast while intensifying over the next 24 hours," the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said in an update.

"Coastal crossing of the cyclone is not expected. However, as the cyclone strengthens, it may produce gales about exposed coastal and island communities between Cape Melville and Innisfail today or early on Thursday.

"On Thursday, the cyclone is expected to adopt a southeasterly track and accelerate away from the coast."

Earlier in the week, thousands of homes were left without power when infrastructure was impacted by strong winds, according to local media reports.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said residents should remain vigilant for official updates and be particularly wary of the dangers posed by floodwaters.

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