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Australians Stoic as Cyclone Yasi Batters North East Coast

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As Tropical Cyclone Yasi ravages the far north of Queensland, ABC radio has been providing news throughout the night. It is just after 4am in Queensland right now. The cyclone has been downgraded to Category 4, from Category 5 earlier.

The eye of the cyclone passed over Mission Beach, a popular area known to many Americans who have visited North Queensland in the past 20 years.

Some people at Tully said they have been sheltering under their homes, and as the eye came over, they ventured out for a few minutes to survey the damage.

Weather authorities have been warning Australians about the severity of the storm. Many people near the coast evacuated because of the threat of massive waves.

australia yasi
Cyclone Yasi, covers queensland

Paul Anstee, of Sydney, who has a holiday home at Port Douglas offered NewsBlaze "A beautiful beachfront property, going cheap." At that time, the expected track was towards Cairns and Innisfail, but eventually it moved slightly south, crossing the coast near Tully. Port Douglas is still at risk from the storm surge.

The Cyclone is moving west at around 30km/h and will eventually reach Mt. Isa, 900km inland, west south west of the area where the eye crossed the coast.

Some people said their trees are now in the swimming pool. Several hundred thousand people are without power.

At a few minutes to 6am, it is light in Brisbane, but in Innisfail the sun isn't up yet. Residents say there are many homes with their roof missing, and many power lines are down over the roads.

A Tully resident said the upstairs apartment had its roof ripped off, there are trees and power down. They said this was much worse than Cyclone Larry in 2006. One farmer said the cyclone ripped the bolts out of the concrete that was securing his shed. A woman in a solid brick hotel in Innisfail said the whole building shook as the cyclone passed, with 290km/h winds.

As the massive cyclone heads inland, Yasi has now been downgraded to a category three.

To hear ABC radio, and hear some wonderful Aussie accents, listen to ABC Local Radio Queensland.

Read More: Queensland 9am Update

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