Category five Cyclone Marcia is currently crossing the coast near Shoalwater Bay, north of Yeppoon, the Bureau of Meteorology says.


Shoalwater Bay is about 100km north of the central Queensland town of Yeppoon, which is likely to take a direct hit.

Marcia made landfall as category five storm – the strongest rating.

Sustained winds near the centre are clocking 205km/h with wind gusts of up to 285km/h.

“Severe Tropical Cyclone Marcia, category 5, is currently moving onto the Capricorn coast near Shoalwater Bay, north of Yeppoon,” the bureau said in its latest advice, issued at 8.03am (AEST).

“It is expected to continue moving in a southerly direction over land close to the coast during today.”

It said the cyclone was estimated to be 105km east of St Lawrence and 85km north northwest of Yeppoon, and was moving south at 20km/h.

Communities from Sarina to Double Island Point, extending inland to Moura, Biloela, Monto, Taroom, Mundubbera, and Murgon remain under a cyclone warning.

Gales are being experienced in some locations between Sarina and Double Island Point.

The next advice will be issued at 9am (AEST).

Katrina McDonald and her family are waiting out the cyclone at their home outside Yeppoon.

“The wind is starting to really pick up. The creek that runs through our property is roaring,” she told The Courier-Mail.

“Conditions are really deteriorating.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk warned lives could be lost unless people took the threat seriously.

“Families’ lives are at risk,” she said.

Ms Palaszczuk said she suspected the state would need federal assistance, and she’d be speaking to the prime minister about that.

“We need to make sure the federal government is on standby, ready to assist,” she said.

She said dams in the southeast corner were no threat to Brisbane or other southeast communities.

Wivenhoe dam is only at 77 per cent of capacity.

All 12 southeast Queensland dams combined were sitting at a combined capacity of 81 per cent.

“There’s enough capacity in all of our dams in the southeast,” she said.

The weather bureau has issued minor flood warnings for two rivers and a creek in the Sunshine Coast region.

Minor flood warnings are current for the Maroochy River, which flows into the sea at Maroochydore, and the Mooloolah River, which meets the sea at Mooloolaba.

A minor flood warning also applies for Coochin Creek, in the southern Sunshine Coast hinterland.