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The forecast: Wind gusts of up to 280 kph (175 mph) and heavy rainfall were forecast by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Anticipating heavy rainfall, 30,000 were evacuated from low-lying areas known to be susceptible to flooding. Some good news: Wind gusts of up to 280 kmh (175 mph) were forecast by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, but, Ita weakened to a category 4 storm just before making landfall. AND, Ita’s landfall was along a portion of the coast that is lightly populated. As a result, damage was much less than the $3.6 billion price tag of the last Category 4 cyclone that hit Australia’s Queensland State in 2011 —CYCLONE YASI. Presentation courtesy of Dr. Walter Hays, Global Alliance for Disaster Reduction
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