Cyclone Debbie Captured By The International Space Station

BOM warns that the "very destructive core" of tropical cyclone Debbie is forecast to cross the coast between Townsville and Proserpine tomorrow morning, with wind gust of up to 230km/h possible near the centre of the system.

The couple have cyclone nets strung up the full length of their home to catch flying debris, and Suzette said the latest news was that big trees were snapping and branches flying everywhere.

The bad weather is also due to hit the Whitsundays Islands.

The powerful tempest, which was upgraded to a category 4 storm on Monday evening, has prompted calls for tens of thousands of Queenslanders to evacuate. If we get a lot of rain after this that's going to provide a lot of problems'.

State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk warned it would be the most powerful storm to hit the country since Cyclone Yasi in 2011, which destroyed homes, shredded crops, and ruined island resorts.

Around 25,000 people have been evacuated along the Queensland coast in anticipation of the Category 4 storm, which houses built before 1985 are not expected to withstand.

"We are ready and able to respond to this emergency in support of civilian emergency authorities and the residents of northeastern Queensland once the full impact of Debbie is known", said defence force chief Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin.

This view from the Himawari-8, the Japanese satellite, also shows the devastating size of Debbie as it approaches mainland Queensland.

Debbie is now 400km east of Townsville and is expected to make landfall between Rollingstone and Proserpine.

Areas from Lucinda to St Lawrence, including Townsville, Mackay, and the Whitsunday Islands, extending inland to Charters Towers, Mount Coolon, Moranbah, and Pentland, are in the warning zone. In Australia, the stretch of time where storms are most likely to develop runs between November and the end of April. "We're starting to see some damage but overall, our preparations have done what they can do to make sure that our community is kept safe".

For cyclone preparedness and safety advice, visit the Queensland Disaster Management Services website.

Joanne Kuzman, who has three children, said they had three days to prepare for Cyclone Debbie, and had enough water and canned food to last two to three days.

Meanwhile, queues several kilometres long have formed in north Queensland, as residents clean up and head to the dump, ahead of Tropical Cyclone Debbie's arrival. "Damage may be catastrophic" says Duncan.

"These buildings are old but really sturdy", he said.

  • Zachary Reyes