BREAKING: Evacuation ordered for parts of Whitsundays

BLUSTERY: A wind-swept Airlie Beach after the Tropical Cyclone Dylan hit in 2014.
BLUSTERY: A wind-swept Airlie Beach after the Tropical Cyclone Dylan hit in 2014. Sharon Smallwood

EVACUATIONS have been confirmed for parts of the Whitsundays.

Whitsunday Regional Council announced at 11.20am that the Red and Orange Zones on the Whitsunday flood evacuation map are directed to evacuate their property.

The Yellow Zone has also been given a recommendation for voluntary evacuations and to evacuate if directed.

Tropical Cyclone Debbie is currently a category 2 system and is likely to reach category 4 intensity at the time of crossing the Queensland coast, with the possibility of it being a category 5.

A significant storm tide is expected across the Whitsunday Council Region and is expected to effect and inundate the Red and Orange Zones. A Queensland Police directed evacuation has been ordered for the Red and Orange zones.

"If your property is located in the Red and Orange Zones, you should finalise your cyclone preparations and packing of your evacuation kit and evacuate the Whitsunday Council Region and Cyclone Warning area by Sunday evening," the council statement read.

Chair of the Whitsunday Disaster Management Group and Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox said residents should seek shelter with friends or family in the Blue or White zones for safety.

"We're asking people to evacuate. Go and visit your family and friends or move out of the Whitsunday region. If you can't do that, you could go and visit family and friends in high and dry safe places," he said.

"If you are unable to evacuate, the Cyclone Shelters in Bowen and Proserpine will be opened on Monday as a last resort.

"The cyclone shelters have capacity for 800 people each and are only available to those people at highest risk from cyclone effects that have no other option.

"With the informaton we've been given, we need to make sure we keep our people safe - that's what we're doing."

Residents in the Yellow storm tide evacuation zone are also encouraged to prepare to leave and finalise all cyclone preparations. These residents need to be ready to evacuate if directed and are reminded that leaving evacuation until Monday may mean evacuation routes are flooded and residents may not be able to leave the area.

For all the latest up to date information, follow the Whitsunday Disaster & Emergency Facebook page:

Evacuation (Storm Tide) Maps and video can be viewed here:

Topics:  cyclone debbie editors picks weather

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