Premier tells cyclone rubberneckers: Go home, bunker down
- Those in TC Marcia's path will face a 'harrowing and terrifying' ordeal, says Premier
- Do not leave your house if you're in Yeppoon or Rockhampton.
- Move to the strongest part of your homes.
- The cyclone could track inland, but coastal communities still need to be prepared.
- Warning zone still from Sarina to Double Island Point.
- Emergency services will 'withdraw' as cyclone hits, then deploying after it passes.
- 870 homes in low-lying areas near Yeppoon are being evacuated
GET off the roads, go home and bunker down.
That is the message from Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk who said there were still people driving around on the roads in Yeppoon and coastal areas where Cyclone Marcia will pass through very soon.
"You are putting your lives and others at risk," Ms Palaszczuk said. "Please stop driving, return to your homes immediately.
"This is a serious situation.
"There are 16,000 people around the Yeppoon and surrounding coastal areas. We want everyone to be safe.
She said the category five cyclone would hit Yeppoon and surrounding areas within the next couple of hours, and Rockhampton is expected to be hit early this afternoon.
Wind gusts of up to 285kmh are expected.
The storm surge is now forecast to be 3m above the high water tide, as opposed to 2.6m as it was predicted earlier.
Premier: Cyclone Marcia to be 'harrowing, terrifying' ordeal
LOOK after yourself, look after your neighbours because Queenslanders in the path of Tropical Cyclone Marcia will face a "harrowing and terrifying" ordeal this morning.
The winds at its centre are predicted to reach almost 300kmh, accompanied by flooding, flash flooding, a storm surge and the accompanying thunderstorms embedded into the system.
Quenesland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has warned that Yeppoon, with its 16,000 residents, will face the full brunt of the category five cyclone.
Even emergency services will take cover away from the cyclone when it strikes to ensure they are ready to respond to the destruction it delivers.
By the time it reaches nearby Rockhampton, it will likely have deteriorated into a category three, but that is no reason to take the threat more likely.
About 870 flood-vulnerable homes near Yeppoon have now been doorknocked, with those inside told to flee to somewhere safer.
In Yeppoon, but also in Rockhampton, people are being told not to venture outside.
"Do not go outside under any circumstances," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"Go to the strongest part of your house, usually your bathroom area."
Take pillows, mattresses, some food, water and a radio so you can keep track of the cyclone's progress.
The cyclone has a width of 70km, it is a giant storm threatening devastation.
"Over the next few hours, many thousands of Queenslanders will go through a harrowing and terrifying experience," the Premier said.
"We are with you every step of the way
"We will be standing by your side.
"You must take actions in your own home. Do not go outside."
Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said Central Queensland was facing "a calamity".
"Some of the practical things that will happen in the next few hours is that the winds will rise, they will be screaming around these areas where the cyclone is crossing.
"There will certainly be inundation from the water coming in from the storm surge so there will be a lot of water on the ground.
"You need to be indoors when all of that is happening."
"I have to say in the next couple of hours, even our emergency services personnel will be withdrawing and they'll be going to places of safety so that they're ready as soon as the eye has passed.
"This is going to be a calamity, no doubt about that.
"We've done as much as we can now to prepare.
"It's up to everyone to look after themselves, their friends and family at this point."