Tropical Cyclone Jasper made landfall on the northeast coast of Australia, bringing winds, heavy rainfall, and life threatening floods. The cyclone intensified from a category 1 to a category 2 storm, with winds reaching up to 140 km/h.

Cyclone Jasper Category 2 Makes Landfall in Far North Queensland 

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As the people in far north Queensland faced the storm, concerns about power outages, property damage, and the flooding became critical.

Cyclone Jasper, categorized as a Category 1 storm, intensified before making landfall on the populated northeast coast of Australia.

With wind gusts reaching up to 140 km/h (87 mph), the cyclone struck near the Aboriginal community of Wujal Wujal, situated approximately 110 kilometers north of Cairns.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) issued warnings of destructive wind gusts, heavy rainfall, and for flash flooding.

The cyclone’s eye, nearly 70 kilometers across, created a sense of calm as it passed over Wujal Wujal, only to be followed by a resurgence of powerful winds as the storm continued its journey inland.

The far north Queensland region faced the Cyclone Jasper’s fury, with communities such as Cairns, Port Douglas, and Innisfail experiencing damaging winds, power outages, and rainfall.

More than 36,000 homes and businesses were plunged into darkness as strong winds uprooted trees, causing them to knock out power lines.

Residents were urged to take shelter, and evacuation centers were established in Cairns, Port Douglas, and Cooktown to accommodate those seeking refuge from the storm.

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Despite the severe warnings, many residents exhibited resilience, preparing their homes and businesses for the worst, with some even resorting to sandbagging and the use of generators.

Energy Queensland had over 450 staff on standby in Rockhampton and Townsville, with emergency personnel deployed from Brisbane to assist local crews.

The Australian Defence Force also stood ready to support the Queensland government and local authorities.

Evacuation orders were issued for low-lying areas, and residents in the cyclone’s path were advised to move to designated evacuation centers.

With reports of uprooted vegetation littering coastal promenades and rows of coconut palms and melaleuca trees bowing under the strain of Jasper’s gusts.

Roads were closed due to fallen trees and flooding, making travel hazardous. Power outages affected more than 35,000 homes and businesses, leaving people in the dark.

Ergon Energy Network crews faced challenges in assessing the damage amid the continuing weather conditions. Cairns Mayor Terry James warned residents to prepare for a period without power.

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Local businesses, particularly those in coastal areas, faced the task of securing their premises against storm surges and destructive winds.

Natascha McCorkell, a cafe owner in Cairns, exemplified the approach taken by businesses, strategically placing sandbags around her establishment and preparing a generator for power outages.

There was a sense of optimism among business owners and residents, driven by the collective efforts to fortify properties and the resilience ingrained in communities accustomed to the challenges posed by tropical cyclones.

As Cyclone Jasper moved inland, meteorologists highlighted the uncertainty surrounding its potential for redevelopment into a tropical cyclone once it reached the warm waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria.

The risk of riverine flooding and storm surge remained, posing ongoing threats even as the immediate impact of the cyclone lessened.

Residents, business owners, and emergency responders collaborated to weather the storm. The collective effort put into preparations, from sandbagging to securing loose items. Natascha McCorkell: “I don’t think anything else can be done now, we just need to wait and see.”

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