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More On Yasi

The Australians think that Yasi may have reached its maximum intensity before landfall, and the reporting from the Navy seems to bear it out. It is due to make landfall around midnight local time [8AM my time], which will just increase the terror level.

I still have some hope for an eyewall replacement cycle, which would drop the winds, but the storm surge is well established and will smash into the coast and back up the rivers.

The ABC has sent up a Yasi Live Blog to cover the event.

They reported that the Monster cyclone knocks out weather radar

Category five Cyclone Yasi has knocked out the weather bureau’s radar system on Willis Island, about 450 kilometres east of Cairns in far north Queensland.

The Navy said that Willis was reporting sustained winds of 80mph [130 kph] and gusts of 115mph [185 kph] before it went down.

The main story was Cyclone to bring ’24 hours of terror’

Queenslanders have been told to prepare themselves for a terrifying 24 hours as the “most catastrophic storm ever” takes aim at heavily populated areas of the state’s north.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi was upgraded to category five this morning as the weather bureau warned it was likely to be “more life-threatening” than any storm seen in Australia in living memory.

Tens of thousands of people are fleeing their homes ahead of the monster storm, which is expected to hit the coast between Cairns and Innisfail with winds of up to 295 kilometres per hour near the core.

Premier Anna Bligh says the storm’s expected landfall at about midnight AEST tonight is the worst possible news for a state which is already reeling from recent flooding.

She says Cyclone Yasi is the “most catastrophic storm to ever hit our coast”.

The officials have figured it out, let’s hope that the people take the information to heart and leave. The storm is moving quickly, which is good, but it is powerful enough that it will still be at hurricane strength well inland. This isn’t just a coastal event. Then we have to wait to see how much rain falls, and where.