Thousands evacuated as cyclone bears down on Australia

Thousands evacuated as cyclone bears down on AustraliaThousands of people including tourists were evacuated Monday as northeast Australia braced for a powerful cyclone packing destructive winds, with warnings of major structural damage and surging tides. Cyclone Debbie has been forming off the coast of Queensland state over recent days, the Bureau of Meteorology said, and is expected to make landfall as a category four storm — on a scale of five — after daybreak Tuesday. Residents, who have been sandbagging and boarding up homes, were being told to prepare for the worst storm to pummel the state since Cyclone Yasi in 2011, which ripped houses from their foundations and devastated crops.

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