Cyclone Jasper: Landfall Expected; Australia’s Cairns Airport Shut, Major Highways Closed & More Updates

by Vaishalee Kalvankar
Cyclone Jasper: Landfall Expected; Australia’s Cairns Airport Shut, Major Highways Closed & More Updates

Northeastern Australians are prepared for torrential rain and destructive gusts from tropical storm Jasper, which was predicted to make landfall shortly, as officials prepared shelters and increased the number of emergency personnel. On Wednesday, Jasper is expected to intensify from category 1 to category 2, becoming the first cyclone of the season to make landfall in Australia. 

Cyclone Jasper Updates

Trees were uprooted on Wednesday as Tropical Cyclone Jasper intensified as it neared the coast of northeast Australia. According to Queensland state deputy premier Steven Miles, Jasper is expected to intensify from a category 1 to a category 2 storm on a 5-tier scale, making landfall on the Australian coast late on Wednesday. This makes Jasper the first cyclone of the current season. 

Residents of Queensland have been advised to get ready for flash flooding and possibly days without power. Cooktown, Port Douglas, and Cairns have been designated as evacuation centers. A tropical cyclone warning is in effect for the Atherton Tablelands, Chillagoe, and Palmerville, as well as for Cape Melville to Cardwell, Cairns, and Innisfail. 

Out of Brisbane, more than a hundred emergency professionals have been sent to support local crews on the ground.

The precise location of Cyclone Jasper is unknown, but the 160,000 residents of Cairns are getting ready for what may be their first direct strike in over 60 years.

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El Nino Effects

This summer, Australia is experiencing the effects of El Nino, a phenomenon that can cause extreme weather, including wildfires, tropical cyclones, and protracted droughts.

The runway at Cairns Airport will stay available for emergency services on Wednesday, but the airport announced that its closure from Tuesday night and that no domestic or international flights are scheduled for Wednesday.

According to media reports, several grocery shelves were empty of necessities like bottled water as officials warned citizens to stockpile food and secure loose outdoor equipment.

Certain roads are already closed to all traffic, including Mossman Mt. Molloy Road (Rex Highway) along the Rex Range and the Captain Cook Highway from Port Douglas to Palm Cove. The North Tropical Coast, a portion of the Cape York Peninsula, and the Gulf Country are still under flood watch, with the Bureau of Meteorology confirming that totals of 400 to 500 millimetres of rain could fall in a single day.

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Emergency Alert Has Been Issued

It is highly recommended that people stay home during severe weather, especially when the dangerous winds are still blowing.

Between Cape Flattery and Cairns, an emergency alert is in effect for the following locations: Wujal Wujal, Douglas Shire, Hopevale, Yarrabah, and inland to Chillagoe and Palmerville. 

At 9:14 a.m. on Wednesday, unanticipated power outages left houses without electricity in Mooroobool, Gordonvale, Edmonton, Goldsborough, Malanda, and Fishery Falls. Residents in these communities were left without power. 

The region was starting to notice the consequences of the extreme weather on the network, according to Emma Oliveri, senior corporate communications advisor at Ergon Energy.

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We hope all the people are safe.

Cover Image Courtesy: Canva and Wikimedia commons