Cyclone to form within 24 hours off Queensland as authorities prepare for ‘two events’

Authorities are making preparations for two impending weather events when a tropical low off the coast of Queensland develops into a cyclone within 24 hours.

The Bureau of Meteorology, in its latest update, warned tropical Cyclone Kirrily would develop as early as tomorrow morning.

It is now expected to make landfall between Cardwell and Airlie Beach as a potentially downgraded category 2 storm on Thursday night or Friday.

A tropical low intensifying off the coast of North Queensland will form into Cyclone Kirrily. (Weatherzone)

“It will continue to move west, south-west, towards the Queensland coast and by late in the day Wednesday, early Thursday, that’s when we expect to see winds and rain increasing across our initial our tropical cyclone watch zone,” meteorologist Miriam Bradbury said.

“We could see heavy falls, flash flooding and damaging wind gusts developing in that area leading to property damage, road closures and possible power failures.”

Emergency services are preparing for “two events”, Queensland Police deputy commissioner Shane Chelepy said.

“We’re planning for the cyclone crossing … but we’re also planning for a secondary event that may come from the intense rainfall that the bureau is forecasting, including flash flooding and riverine flooding right through central and south-west Queensland,” he said.

A watch zone is in place from Cairns to St Lawrence, which included Townsville, Mackay and Whitsundays Islands.

The tropical low, however, has since slowed and is now expected to significantly weaken after it makes a severe impact on the coast as a cyclone.

The slowing tropical low will develop as early as tomorrow morning. (Bureau of Meteorology)

The bureau is anticipating the cyclone to then downgrade into a tropical low as it travels inland by Friday night into Saturday. 

”In its wake, we may see continued significant flooding and continued dangerous marine conditions as well,” Bradbury said.

Residents within the watch zone are urged to prepare long-life food and water supplies, fill up their vehicles with petrol and have a power pack at home as it could take emergency services up to 72 hours to reach devastated towns.

They are also advised to lock away loose outdoor items around their properties. 

Townsville locals today sweltered through heatwave conditions to prepare their homes, which are in the firing line of the cyclone.

”This is the third (carload of sandbags). That will hopefully be our final – it’s 10 kilograms per bag, it gets pretty heavy in there,” Lewis, a resident, said.

“I hope (the cyclone is) a fizzer, there’s always hope, but you’ve got to prep for the worst.”

Heavy rain is predicted to hit the state’s central, south and south-east. (Weatherzone)

The system is currently located over the central Coral Sea, roughly 860 km to the east-northeast of Townsville.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services from across the state are heading up north to assist in preparation of the incoming disaster.

Police have also staged additional resources from Townsville to Rockhampton.

Residents were assured the state’s power supply is prepared to cope with the impacts as Ergon and Energex teams were deployed to be on standby in Rockhampton.

Queenslanders are advised to stay up to date with forecasts and warnings.

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