Update: Monster Cyclone Yasi slams Australia coast

The biggest storm in the country’s modern history has reached Australia’s coast with winds stronger than that of hurricane Katrina.

Hundreds of thousands of people have filled evacuation centers and homes. Tourists hunker down in their hotels as Yasi slams the Australia coast. Tens of thousands are without power across a region the size of Germany and France combined.

“I can’t sugarcoat this for people, it’s going to be a very tough 24 hours,” Queensland Premier Anna Bligh told reporters in Brisbane yesterday. “Without doubt we are set to confront scenes of devastation and heartbreak.”

Cyclone Yasi is expected to hit the North-east coast of Austraila in the next few hours.

The last cyclone of such strength to cross the state was in 1918 and this one would be “terrifying”.Mrs Bligh told the BBC.

Keeping in touch with friends and family or getting a good idea of what is happening may soon be difficult. Austailan Government’s Bureau of Meteorlogy allows us to watch Live images of the massive storm. Another site, suggested by reader Nicola, Cyclone Video HQ has the most recent video feeds from ground level.

Photo: NOAA