Cyclone Debbie: Queenslanders wake up to devastation following 'monster' storm

"It's looking promising in terms of being able to rebuild promptly with most of the major infrastructure intact", Queensland state police deputy commissioner Steve Gollschewski told Australian Broadcasting Corporation television.

"These are places that are entirely unaffected by these circumstances and that's the kind of collateral damage we suffer sometimes in our industry", he said.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said assessing damage was hard because communities had been cut off from power and phone reception.

A man hit by a falling wall in Proserpine was in a stable condition and would be moved to Mackay Hospital as soon as possible. "I'm bracing myself for it".

Hoteliers hundreds of kilometers away at Cairns and Rockhampton were seeing cancellations for upcoming Easter holidays and operators anxious that bad press would prolong the recovery, Queensland Tourism Industry Council chief executive Daniel Gschwind said.

Collins' wife and two of their daughters were so scared they were hiding under blankets.

They have some capacity to get some people off that island on Thursday, Ms Trad said.

"Our islands, our Whitsunday islands, are some of the most lovely, pristine islands in the world that people come from all around the world to visit".

More than 51,000 homes were without power.

"The trees are going wild", the man, identified only as Charlie, told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. "Trees are down. I just had to do a bit of rally driving to get around the power pole that's down and there's wires down across the road about 100 yards from my house", he said.

Mr Willcox said Bowen was "half wrecked".

"There are already people out working everywhere clearing roads and assessing the damage", Kim said. Ports at Abbot Point, Mackay and Hay Point were shut and Townsville airport was closed.

One female tourist was killed in a auto crash on Monday that police said was due to wild weather as Cyclone Debbie approached.

Why is it so powerful?

The cyclone is also expected to bring daily rainfalls of 150mm-200mm over the next few days, according to the Bureau of Meteorology. Crucially, it is also very slow-moving. As structures experience a longer battering, things like metal fatigue set in, leading to more damage. "Also, more of the rain falls in the same area rather than being spread out, leading to a greater flood risk".

What is the predicted damage?

Fortunately Debbie looks likely to head between two cities so "the destruction is likely to be somewhat less than feared".

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk addressed the media regarding Cyclone Debbie.

And as poor weather persisted and several Bowen Basin collieries stayed shut, analysts said Debbie could push coking coal prices higher - while tourism operators, even in unaffected regions, reported canceled bookings.

"It has still been raining heavily this morning in some of the affected areas and flooding is occurring", he said.

  • Leroy Wright