Cyclone PhetA category 5 cyclone is battering Queensland, Australia right at this very moment (which somehow sounds much more frightening than a hurricane, right?), and residents who have not already evacuated the area are in for 24 hours of terror, according to Premier Anna Bligh.
But the effects of Cyclone Yasi, sadly, won't be gone in 24 hours as this very heavily populated area of Australia's coastline will face even more flooding in the days to come. Nine people were still missing at the end of January from the December 2010 and January floods this year. Parts of Queensland have been declared a disaster area, and now this? What has this lovely area of Australia done to deserve such a beat down?
Before you say Mel Gibson, let's take a look at the anatomy of this storm. (Plus, he's from New South Wales.)
- The winds of the cyclone are expected to reach up to 280 kilometers per hour, which is almost 175 miles per hour. Which is the same strength of the winds of Hurricane Katrina.
- This is the largest cyclone to ever hit Queensland, and there are areas that are not equipped to deal with such force. Additionally, the land is already saturated from the flooding, so the devastation will be especially dramatic.
- The storm is being called a "deadly event," which we can only imagine means even more lives will be lost, in addition to the many who died in the floods.
Bligh told residents to be prepared to be without water or power, and that they would have to be self-sufficient for awhile. At this point, it's too late to evacuate the area, so let's hope Cyclone Yasi turns out to be less threatening than the predictions.
Image via NASA Goddard Photo and Video/Flickr