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.

As of 1:45am 89,000 people were without power, the majority in Townsville.  Anna Bligh says Townsville's CBD has now lost power and with that cut a "significant number of evacuation centres" will now be without electricity.

Once Yasi hits, around 3 to 3:30am NZT it will be at least three to four hours before the centre of the storm moves inland and starts to weaken.

Queensland authorities have this morning been advised of six people in their 60s who are trapped in a storm surge area and cannot get out.  Despite the public warnings the police indicated that these residents chose to ignore them.  Police have told them to go to the second story of their apartment and have advised the occupants that the storm surge will reach the ceiling of the first floor.  It will be an incredibly scaring night for them - and it's very likely they aren't the only ones that could face a life-threatening scenario tonight. 

Anna Bligh has just finished her final press conference for the night and says the weather equipment is now becoming unreliable for them to report on. 

With the cyclone now making landfall there will be little new information coming in until daylight when we expect information to begin to trickle out.

At Lucinda, which is near where the cyclone will make landfall, winds are now averaging 80km/h with gusts to 140km/h.

In Townsville winds are averaging 72k/h and gusting to 104km/h.

Cairns stil does not have gale force winds.

Our next update will be around landfall