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Australia's WICEN on alert as storm hits

Date : 20 / 02 / 2015
Author : Jim Linton - VK3PC

The severe Tropical Cyclone Marcia came ashore in central Queensland as a category 5 storm bringing strong winds and heavy rain. Although it has lost intensity as it tracked south, wind gusts of up to 250 kilometre per hour were recorded.

The Central Queensland Amateur Radio Association has activated on 7098 KHz and the 2m repeater, and is on standby for nursing homes in the region to provide emergency communications in case evacuations are ordered. That group and others in WICEN are on watch as the cyclone heads further south, with high winds, heavy rain, floods and tidal surges.

There are some reports that Marcia is stronger than previous cyclones to reach Queensland, Larry in 2006 and Yasi in 2011. The weather system is predicted to penetrate much further south than has
been experienced for decades.

Meantime Cyclone Lam engulfed the north-east of the Northern Territory, but early evacuation of lightly populated islands in its path had been affective. Further reports on both Australian cyclones can be expected.

- Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee.



 

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