LATEST: Cyclone Yasi weakens further (+Maps)

#YASI -- Cyclone Yasi has been downgraded further to a category 2 tropical cyclone, reduced from the category 5 it reached last night.

However says the winds are still destructive - and despite the wind easing the rain will not, with torrential rain continuing to fall across much of Queensland.

Australia's Bureau of Meteorology says Yasi will continue to weaken as it moves in a west-southwesterly direction towards the Georgetown area during the morning.

As of 10am NZT winds were gusting to 155km/h, down from 205km/h at 8am and down from 295km/h at 3am.

Full details below...

89,000 without power, 6 people trapped, "This is only the beginning"

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Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi is nearing landfall and Queensland Preimier Anna Bligh has told Queenslanders that "this is only the beginning" of this cyclone's power.

Record breaking wave near Townsville dramatically eclipsed

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#YASI -- BREAKING NEWS -- Queensland Premier Anna Bligh says a wave has tonight broken the record books again - just hours after the record had previously been broken.

On Wednesday afternoon a wave measuring 6.6 metres was recorded off the coast of Townsville.  At the time it was biggest wave in the area since records began in the 1970s.

Intense Cyclone Yasi nearing landfall (+Maps & Links)

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#YASI -- Intense Tropical Cyclone Yasi is nearing landfall with severe gales now blasting the Queensland coastline along with huge seas - timed with high tide.

A wall of water that is both a storm surge combined with towering 12 metre high waves (high enough to swamp a Boeing 737) is moving into the coastline and will take with it beachfront homes and buildings and cause catastrophic flooding far worse than most rainstorms could create.

Along with the storm surge there will hurricane force winds, stronger than those of Hurricane Katrina when she made landfall near New Orleans in 2005.

Cyclone Yasi is 10 times bigger than the devastating Cyclone Larry which was also a category 5 cyclone that hit in March 2006.

We have extensive information below from the Bureau of Meteorology including the latest maps and some popular links which include Video, Audio and Streaming webcams. 

We will continue to provide frequent updates until it makes landfall.

Catastrophic cyclone just hours from landfall (+Maps)

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#Yasi -- "If people on the coastline haven't heeded calls to evacuate to a safe place they may well not survive the night"

Below: Latest Maps, extensive news and weather readings.

#YASI - Streaming Webcam: Watch Cyclone Yasi LIVE here

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The webcams may not all continue due to powercuts expected in the next few hours.

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Updated Animation: Monster cyclone roars towards Queensland

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This updated timelapse uses false colour infrared imagery from JMA's MTSAT geostationary satellite & radar data from the Australia BoM to track the path of the Tropical Cyclone Yasi as it forms and heads towards the Queensland Coast.

It has passed directly over the Willis Island radar which allows the Eye to be clearly seen by the radar and satellite imagery.

It is expected to make landfall around 10pm tonight AEST (1am NZT).

Yasi nears landfall, gusts over 200kph recorded

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Winds continue to build in coastal parts of North east Queensland with some online weather stations losing their anenometers as a result of severe winds.Peak gusts were clocked at 200kph on islands near the Coral Reef before losing power.

#YASI: Waves the height of street lights coming

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"The scenes following this cyclone will be horrific"

Waves 12 metres high, roughly the height of street lights, and a storm surge of 2 metres are going to combine to create massive coastal flooding in the hours ahead for the 200km stretch of Queensland coast when Intense Tropical Cyclone Yasi finally moves in.

The storm is just hours away.

Much of the area predicted to be hit by Yasi directly is low lying and serious flooding is going to destroy some coastal communities - possibly entire communities - as a cyclone that Australian's have never witnessed before begins to move in.

Cat 5 Yasi closing in on Queensland - landfall location shifts (+Maps)

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Destructive Tropical Cyclone Yasi is closing in on Queensland's coastline, now just 400kms away with winds picking up and clouds thickening.  The storm is travelling towards the coastline at 35km/h.