Natural disasters

Like us to stay up to date

Cairns Disaster Coordination Centre
Cairns remains within the WATCH area.
Cairns Disaster Coordination Centre
TROPICAL CYCLONE ADVICE NUMBER 7 Issued at 7:50 pm EST on Saturday 25 March 2017 Tropical Cyclone Debbie is expected to begin moving southwestward towards the coast overnight. Areas Affected: Warning Zone Ayr to St Lawrence, including Bowen, Mackay and Whitsunday Islands. Watch Zone Cairns to Ayr, including Cardwell and Townsville. Cancelled Zone None. Details of Tropical Cyclone Debbie at 7:00 pm AEST: Intensity: Category 1, sustained winds near the centre of 85 kilometres per hour with wind gusts to 120 kilometres per hour. Location: within 55 kilometres of 17.7 degrees South 151.9 degrees East, estimated to be 660 kilometres east of Cairns and 560 kilometres east northeast of Townsville. Movement: slow moving. Tropical Cyclone Debbie is currently a category 1 cyclone, but is continuing to show signs of development. The system has been relatively slow moving during today, but is expected to adopt a steady west-southwest track tonight. This general west-southwesterly motion is expected to continue for the next few days, bringing the cyclone towards and eventually onto the north Queensland coast. Conditions are expected to favour the continued intensification of the cyclone as it approaches the coast. Hazards: GALES are expected to develop about the exposed coast and islands between Ayr and Mackay on Sunday afternoon or evening, and could extend further south to St Lawrence on Sunday night. GALES could extend further north to coastal areas between Cairns and Ayr on Monday. DESTRUCTIVE WINDS with gusts over 125 km/h are expected to develop about the exposed coast and islands between Lucinda and Mackay on Monday afternoon or evening. The VERY DESTRUCTIVE CORE of Tropical Cyclone Debbie is expected to cross the coast between Townsville and Proserpine on Tuesday morning, most likely as a CATEGORY 4 tropical cyclone, with wind gusts up to 260 km/h near the centre. Abnormally high tides are expected to occur between at least Lucinda and Mackay as the cyclone approaches the coast. Large waves may also develop along the beachfront. People living in areas likely to be affected by this flooding should take measures to protect their property as much as possible and be prepared to follow instructions regarding evacuation of the area if advised to do so by the authorities. Areas of heavy rain with the potential to cause severe flash flooding are expected to develop about parts of the northern and central Queensland coast and adjacent inland areas late on Sunday and continue through Monday and Tuesday. Major river flooding may also develop over a broad area next week and a Flood Watch is current for coastal catchments between Cairns and Gladstone, extending inland to the eastern Gulf River catchments. Recommended Action: Recommended Action: - People between Ayr and St Lawrence should immediately commence or continue preparations, especially securing boats and property. - People between Cairns and Ayr should consider what action they will need to take if the cyclone threat increases. Next Advice: The next advice will be issued by 11:00 pm AEST Saturday 25 March.
Cairns Disaster Coordination Centre
**Cairns remains in the Cyclone WATCH area; a Cyclone WARNING is current for Ayr - St Lawrence** TROPICAL CYCLONE ADVICE NUMBER 6 Issued at 4:54 pm EST on Saturday 25 March 2017 Headline: Tropical Cyclone Debbie has formed in the Coral Sea. Areas Affected: Warning Zone Ayr to St Lawrence, including Bowen, Mackay and the Whitsunday Islands. Watch Zone Cairns to Ayr, including Cardwell and Townsville. Cancelled Zone Cape Tribulation to Cairns. Details of Tropical Cyclone Debbie at 4:00 pm AEST: Intensity: Category 1, sustained winds near the centre of 65 kilometres per hour with wind gusts to 95 kilometres per hour. Location: within 55 kilometres of 17.5 degrees South 151.8 degrees East, estimated to be 640 kilometres east of Cairns and 560 kilometres east northeast of Townsville. Movement: slow moving. Tropical Cyclone Debbie is currently a category 1 cyclone, but is continuing to show signs of development. The system has been relatively slow moving during today, but is expected to adopt a steady west-southwest track in the next few hours. This general west-southwesterly motion is expected to continue for the next few days, bringing the cyclone towards and eventually onto the north Queensland coast. Conditions are expected to favour the continued intensification of the cyclone as it approaches the coast over the weekend and into early next week. Hazards: Tropical Cyclone Debbie is expected to cross the coast between Townsville and Proserpine on Tuesday morning, most likely as a CATEGORY 4 tropical cyclone, with wind gusts up to 260 kilometres per hour near the centre. DESTRUCTIVE winds are likely to develop about the Whitsunday Islands and nearby coast on Monday evening, and extend to other areas between Ayr and Mackay overnight into Monday morning. GALES are expected to develop between Ayr and St Lawrence from late Monday afternoon and evening, and may extend to other coastal areas north to Innisfail during Tuesday. Based on the current forecast track, abnormally high tides are expected to occur between at least Lucinda and Mackay as the cyclone approaches the coast. Large waves may also develop along the beachfront. Areas of heavy rain are expected to develop about parts of the northern and central Queensland coast and adjacent inland areas into Sunday. A Flood Watch is current for coastal catchments between Cooktown and Mackay, extending inland to the eastern Gulf River catchments. Recommended Action: - People between Ayr and St Lawrence should immediately commence or continue preparations, especially securing boats and property [using available daylight hours/before nightfall]. - People between Cairns and Ayr should consider what action they will need to take if the cyclone threat increases. Next Advice: The next advice will be issued by 8:00 pm AEST Saturday 25 March.
Cairns Disaster Coordination Centre
FLOOD WATCH for coastal catchments between Cairns to Gladstone extending inland to the eastern Gulf River catchments Issued at 11:49 am EST on Saturday 25 March 2017 Issue Number: 3 River level rises above the minor flood level are likely across the Flood Watch area from Monday. Major flooding is possible. Heavy rainfall with daily totals up to 200 mm with locally heavier falls are expected across the Flood Watch area from Monday. This rainfall is associated with Tropical Cyclone Debbie over the Coral Sea which continues to strengthen and track west-southwest towards the Queensland Coast between Cardwell and Proserpine. Heavy rainfall may also lead to localised flash flooding. Catchments at risk within the Flood Watch area include the Barron, Russell, Mulgrave, Johnstone, Tully, Murray, Herbert, Ross, Bohle, Black, Haughton, Burdekin, Don, Proserpine, Pioneer, Fitzroy, Calliope, Mitchell, Gilbert, Norman and Upper Flinders Rivers and Bluewater Creek. See www.bom.gov.au/qld/warnings to view the current flood warnings for Queensland. This Flood Watch means that people living or working along rivers and creeks should monitor the latest weather forecasts and warnings and be ready to move to higher ground should flooding develop. See www.bom.gov.au/qld/flood/brochures/flood_watch/ for further information about Flood Watch. Remember: If it's flooded, forget it. Next Issue: The next Flood Watch is due to be issued by 12:30 pm AEST on Sunday 26 March 2017.
Cairns Disaster Coordination Centre
**Tropical Cyclone Debbie has been named. Cairns Region remains in the Cyclone Watch area** TROPICAL CYCLONE ADVICE NUMBER 5 Issued at 10:58 am EST on Saturday 25 March 2017 Headline: Tropical Cyclone Debbie has recently formed in the Coral Sea. Areas Affected: Warning Zone None. Watch Zone Cape Tribulation to St Lawrence, including Cairns, Townsville and Mackay. Cancelled Zone None. Details of Tropical Cyclone Debbie at 10:00 am AEST: Intensity: Category 1, sustained winds near the centre of 65 kilometres per hour with wind gusts to 95 kilometres per hour. Location: within 35 kilometres of 17.4 degrees South 151.9 degrees East, estimated to be 650 kilometres east of Cairns and 580 kilometres east northeast of Townsville. Movement: southwest at 9 kilometres per hour. The tropical low over the central Coral Sea has recently developed into Tropical Cyclone Debbie. The system has been moving slowly southwards overnight, but has recently shown signs of shifting onto a west-southwest track. This general west-southwesterly motion is expected to continue for the next few days, bringing the cyclone towards the north Queensland coast. Conditions are expected to favour the continued intensification of the cyclone as it approaches the coast over the weekend and into early next week. Hazards: GALES are not expected to develop about the Queensland east coast today, however they could develop about the coast and islands between Cape Tribulation and St Lawrence, including the Whitsunday Islands, during Sunday. Based on the current forecast track, abnormally high tides are expected to occur between at least Lucinda and Mackay as the cyclone approaches the coast. Large waves may also develop along the beachfront. Areas of heavy rain are expected to develop about parts of the northern and central Queensland coast and adjacent inland areas into Sunday. A Flood Watch is current for coastal catchments between Cooktown and Mackay, extending inland to the eastern Gulf River catchments. Recommended Action: People between Cape Tribulation and St Lawrence should consider what action they will need to take if the cyclone threat increases. Next Advice: The next advice will be issued by 5:00 pm AEST Saturday 25 March.
Cairns Disaster Coordination Centre
A Flood Watch remains current for coastal catchments from Cooktown to Mackay. Sandbags are currently available from the Portsmith, Smithfield and Gordonvale waste transfer stations to assist residents in low-lying and flood prone areas with preparations.
Cairns Disaster Coordination Centre
TROPICAL CYCLONE ADVICE NUMBER 4 Issued at 4:44 am EST on Saturday 25 March 2017 Headline: High chance of tropical cyclone formation in the Coral Sea today. Areas Affected: Warning Zone None. Watch Zone Cape Tribulation to St Lawrence including Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, and the Whitsunday Islands. Cancelled Zone None. Details of Tropical Low at 4:00 am AEST: Intensity: Tropical Low, sustained winds near the centre of 55 kilometres per hour with wind gusts to 85 kilometres per hour. Location: within 35 kilometres of 17.0 degrees South 152.2 degrees East, estimated to be 620 kilometres east northeast of Townsville and 680 kilometres east of Cairns. Movement: slow moving. The tropical low has moved slowly overnight while steadily developing. The low is expected to develop into a tropical cyclone and adopt a west-southwest track today, bringing it towards the north Queensland coast. Conditions are expected to favour the continued intensification of the system as it approaches the coast over the weekend and into early next week. Hazards: GALES are not expected to develop about the Queensland east coast today, however they could develop about the coast and islands between Cape Tribulation and St Lawrence, including the Whitsunday Islands, during Sunday. Based on the current forecast track, abnormally high tides are expected to occur between at least Lucinda and Mackay as the cyclone approaches the coast. Large waves may also develop along the beachfront. Areas of heavy rain are expected to develop about parts of the northern and central Queensland coast and adjacent inland areas into Sunday. A Flood Watch is current for coastal catchments between Cooktown and Mackay, extending inland to the eastern Gulf River catchments. Recommended Action: People between Cape Tribulation and St Lawrence should consider what action they will need to take if the cyclone threat increases. Next Advice: The next advice will be issued by 11:00 am AEST Saturday 25 March.
Cairns Disaster Coordination Centre
TROPICAL CYCLONE ADVICE NUMBER 2 Issued at 4:46 pm EST on Friday 24 March 2017 Headline: Coral Sea tropical low should develop into a tropical cyclone and move west towards the coast over the weekend. Areas Affected: Warning Zone None. Watch Zone Cape Tribulation to St Lawrence including Cairns, Townsville and Mackay. Cancelled Zone None. Details of Tropical Low at 4:00 pm AEST: Intensity: Tropical Low, sustained winds near the centre of 45 kilometres per hour with wind gusts to 85 kilometres per hour. Location: within 95 kilometres of 16.7 degrees South 151.8 degrees East, estimated to be 650 kilometres east of Cairns and 610 kilometres east northeast of Townsville. Movement: southeast at 13 kilometres per hour. The tropical low has been showing signs of strengthening and has been moving towards the south-southeast during today. On Saturday, the low is expected to develop into a tropical cyclone and adopt a west-southwesterly track, bringing it towards the north Queensland coast. Conditions are expected to favour the continued intensification of the system as it approaches the coast over the weekend and early next week. Hazards: GALES are not expected along the coast in the next 24 hours. However, given the expected intensification of the low and the forecast track towards the coast, coastal and island communities between Cape Tribulation and St Lawrence, including the Whitsunday Islands, may begin to be affected by this expected tropical cyclone during Saturday evening or Sunday morning. Recommended Action: People between Cape Tribulation and St Lawrence should consider what action they will need to take if the cyclone threat increases. - Information is available from your local government - For cyclone preparedness and safety advice, visit Queensland's Disaster Management Services website (www.disaster.qld.gov.au) - For emergency assistance call the Queensland State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500 (for assistance with storm damage, rising flood water, fallen trees on buildings or roof damage). Next Advice: The next advice will be issued by 11:00 pm AEST Friday 24 March.
Cairns Disaster Coordination Centre
INITIAL FLOOD WATCH for coastal catchments between Cooktown to Mackay extending inland to the eastern Gulf River catchments. Issued at 2:14 pm EST on Friday 24 March 2017 Issue Number: 1 River level rises above the minor flood level are likely across the Flood Watch area from late Sunday. Major flooding is possible. Heavy rainfall with daily totals up 200 mm with locally heavier falls are expected across the Flood Watch area from late Sunday and into Monday. This rainfall is associated with a tropical low over the Coral Sea which is expected to strengthen into a tropical cyclone and track southwest towards the Queensland North Tropical Coast. Heavy rainfall may also lead to localised flash flooding. Catchments at risk within the Flood Watch area includes the Daintree, Mossman, Barron, Russell, Mulgrave, Johnstone, Tully, Murray, Herbert, Ross, Bohle, Black, Haughton, Burdekin, Don, Prosperine, Pioneer, Mitchell, Gilbert, Norman and Upper Flinders Rivers and Bluewater Creek. See www.bom.gov.au/qld/warnings to view the current flood warnings for Queensland. This Flood Watch means that people living or working along rivers and creeks should monitor the latest weather forecasts and warnings and be ready to move to higher ground should flooding develop. See www.bom.gov.au/qld/flood/brochures/flood_watch/ for further information about Flood Watch. Remember: If it's flooded, forget it. For flood emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500 For life threatening emergencies, call Triple Zero (000) immediately Current emergency information is available at www.qld.gov.au/alerts Weather Forecast: For the latest weather forecasts see: www.bom.gov.au/qld/forecasts Next Issue: The next Flood Watch is due to be issued by 12:30 pm AEST on Saturday 25 March 2017.
Cairns Disaster Coordination Centre
Initial track map for the current Coral Sea system, via Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Please be aware that track maps this far out exist only as a guide. Anyone within the Cyclone WATCH area should continue making preparations for a possible severe weather event.
Cairns Disaster Coordination Centre
Cyclone WATCH issued for Cape Tribulation to Proserpine. Information below can be found at www.bom.gov.au TROPICAL CYCLONE ADVICE NUMBER 1 Issued at 12:36 pm EST on Friday 24 March 2017 Headline: Coral Sea tropical low should develop into a tropical cyclone and move west towards the coast over the weekend. Areas Affected: Warning Zone None. Watch Zone Cape Tribulation to Proserpine. Cancelled Zone None. Details of Tropical Low at 10:00 am AEST: Intensity: Tropical Low, sustained winds near the centre of 45 kilometres per hour with wind gusts to 85 kilometres per hour. Location: within 110 kilometres of 16.1 degrees South 151.4 degrees East, estimated to be 610 kilometres east of Cairns and 600 kilometres northeast of Townsville. Movement: south at 15 kilometres per hour. The tropical low has been showing signs of strengthening and has been moving towards the south. During Saturday the low is expected to develop into a tropical cyclone and adopt a track towards the west, bringing it towards the north Queensland coast. Conditions are expected to favour the continued intensification of the system as it approaches the coast over the weekend. Hazards: GALES are not expected along the coast in the next 24 hours. However, given the expected intensification of the low and the forecast track towards the coast, coastal and island communities between Cape Tribulation and Proserpine, including the Whitsunday Islands, may be affected by this expected tropical cyclone during Saturday evening or Sunday morning. Recommended Action: People between Cape Tribulation and Proserpine should consider what action they will need to take if the cyclone threat increases. - Information is available from your local government - For cyclone preparedness and safety advice, visit Queensland's Disaster Management Services website (www.disaster.qld.gov.au) - For emergency assistance call the Queensland State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500 (for assistance with storm damage, rising flood water, fallen trees on buildings or roof damage). Next Advice: The next advice will be issued by 5:00 pm AEST Friday 24 March.
Cairns Disaster Coordination Centre
Residents are advised to prepare for possible severe weather over the next few days. Sandbags will be made available tomorrow to assist residents in low-lying or floodprone areas. Please take steps to ensure your Household Emergency Plan is up to date and consider what actions you may need to take if the threat increases. http://www.cairns.qld.gov.au/council/news-publications/media-releases/releases/severe-weather
Cairns Disaster Coordination Centre
Not sure what should be in your emergency kit. Use our checklist as a guide: http://www.cairns.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/7727/Emergency-Kit-Checklist.pdf
Cairns Disaster Coordination Centre
The Bureau of Meteorology has updated its Tropical Cyclone Outlook for the next three days. The chance of a tropical cyclone being located in the Coral Sea on Sunday is rated High - that is a greater than 50% chance. While we still can't advise with any certainty what track it will take or how strong the system will be, we do suggest you continue with your early preparations as per your Household Emergency Plan. We will continue to provide updates as further information becomes available.
Cairns Disaster Coordination Centre
Do you know whether you live in a storm tide risk zone? Use our online property search tool to find out! http://www.cairns.qld.gov.au/natural-disasters/tools/property-search
Cairns Disaster Coordination Centre
We are monitoring a low pressure system in the Coral Sea that could possibly develop further in the coming days. While it's too early to make any solid predictions, it serves as a timely reminder to make sure you have your cyclone season preparations in place. This means having your emergency kit stocked - could you survive three days without power, running water or access to shops? Also, ensuring your Household Emergency Plan is up to date. Does it include provisions for pets? Do you know where you would go if you had to evacuate? For more information on preparing for natural disasters, visit www.cairns.qld.gov.au/disaster. And keep an eye on this Facebook page for any further updates on the current system.
Cairns Disaster Coordination Centre
A reminder that it is still cyclone season. It may have been a quiet one so far, but we know that things can change very quickly. A big part of being resilient is always being prepared. Need help? We've got plenty of tools and resources to assist: http://www.cairns.qld.gov.au/community-environment/natural-disasters/plan
Cairns Disaster Coordination Centre
Severe thunderstorms are no longer expected in the Cairns region but the warning remains current for northern parts of the North Tropical Coast. http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/wrap_fwo.pl?IDQ20041.html
Cairns Disaster Coordination Centre
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING for HEAVY RAINFALL For people in the North Tropical Coast and Tablelands Forecast District. Issued at 7:53 pm Thursday, 16 February 2017. Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding in the warning area over the next several hours. Locations which may be affected include Cairns, Port Douglas, Innisfail, Mareeba, Mossman, Cardwell, Tully, Atherton, Gordonvale, Daintree Village, Ravenshoe and Babinda. Rainfall of 88mm in the hour to 7pm was recorded near Innisfail. Queensland Fire and Emergency Services advises that people should: * Never drive, walk or ride through flood waters. If it's flooded, forget it. * Seek shelter, preferably indoors and never under trees. * Avoid using the telephone during a thunderstorm. * Beware of fallen trees and powerlines. * For emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500. The next warning is due to be issued by 10:55 pm.
Cairns Disaster Coordination Centre
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING for DAMAGING WINDS and HEAVY RAINFALL For people in the North Tropical Coast and Tablelands, Central West and parts of the Herbert and Lower Burdekin and Maranoa and Warrego Forecast Districts. Issued at 4:47 pm Thursday, 16 February 2017. Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding over the next several hours in the North Tropical Coast and Tablelands and parts of the Herbert and Lower Burdekin districts. Locations which may be affected include Cairns, Port Douglas, Palm Island, Ingham, Innisfail, Mareeba, Mossman, Cardwell and Atherton. Rainfall of 64mm in 30 minutes was recorded west of Innisfail earlier this afternoon. Queensland Fire and Emergency Services advises that people should: * Move your car under cover or away from trees. * Secure loose outdoor items. * Never drive, walk or ride through flood waters. If it's flooded, forget it. * Seek shelter, preferably indoors and never under trees. * Avoid using the telephone during a thunderstorm. * Beware of fallen trees and powerlines. * For emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500. The next warning is due to be issued by 7:50 pm.
Cairns Disaster Coordination Centre
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING for HEAVY RAINFALL For people in the North Tropical Coast and Tablelands and parts of the Herbert and Lower Burdekin Forecast Districts. Issued at 2:00 pm Thursday, 16 February 2017. Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding in the warning area over the next several hours. Locations which may be affected include Cairns, Port Douglas, Palm Island, Ingham, Innisfail, Mareeba, Mossman, Cardwell and Atherton. 64mm of rainfall was recently recorded in 30 minutes west of Innisfail. Queensland Fire and Emergency Services advises that people should: * Never drive, walk or ride through flood waters. If it's flooded, forget it. * Seek shelter, preferably indoors and never under trees. * Avoid using the telephone during a thunderstorm. * Beware of fallen trees and powerlines. * For emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500. The next warning is due to be issued by 5:00 pm. http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/wrap_fwo.pl?IDQ20041.html

During an emergency this page is replaced with our Facebook and Twitter feeds to provide up-to-the-minute information.

Like CairnsDCC on Facebook to have updates delivered to your newsfeed or follow @CairnsDCC on Twitter.

Like CairnsDCC on Facebook to have updates delivered to your newsfeed or follow @CairnsDCC on Twitter.

The Cairns region is a beautiful, tropical area that is vulnerable to natural disasters. We are cyclone and flood prone. We're neighbours to an old volcanic landscape in the Tablelands. We live very close to the sea and extensive areas of bush. There is one main road in and out. 

So it's important to be ready should a disaster occurs

This means:

  • Knowing the risks
  • Preparing your property before the cyclone season
  • Having an emergency plan for yourself, your family and your pets
  • Having an emergency kit with at least 3 days of supplies
  • Knowing your evacuation routes

We encourage residents and visitors to follow the Plan. Pack. Listen approach.

Plan:Make an emergency plan

Pack:Pack an emergency kit

Listen: Stay informed

Cyclones

Living in the tropics means being prepared for cyclones, floods and other emergencies. It's important to have a plan for everyone in your household. More

Storm surge

Evacuation advice during cyclones in the Cairns region is based on storm surge, not wind. Here are some ways to determine if you are in an storm surge evacuation area. More

Flooding

Flooding in Cairns can happen without there being a cyclone. Heavy rain or severe storms can cause flooding at any time of the year. More

Earthquake

Information and advice on what to do in the event of an earthquake. More

Wild fire

Wildfires do happen in the Far North. Be prepared with information and tips on what to do if a wildfire approaches. More

Tsunami

Unlike popular belief, tsunamis can impact the Far North. More

Landslide

Information and advice on what to do in a landslip. More

Plan

A cyclone, food or other disaster will hopefully never affect you. But it's best to be prepared so you know what to do if an emergency happens. More

Pack

If an emergency occurs, you need to beĀ self-sufficient for at least three days. This list will help you prepare your household emergency kit. More

Listen

Listen to your radio, follow developments on social media and check this website for information before, during and after an emergency More

Contacts

Keep yourself up to date before, during and after an emergency through radio, tv, social media and web services. More

Tools

Some handy tools to help you understand natural disasters and prepare your household and property. More

Accessible information

Preparing for Cyclone guides have been prepared in different formats and languages to ensure everyone in the Cairns area can be prepared for an emergency. More

Living With Water

The Living With Water project collects stories of flooding of the Barron River as a way of learning from experience so we can be better prepared for future flooding. More

Be ready, Cairns

The "Be Ready, Cairns - preparing for natural disasters" booklet provides information on the types of emergency situations that can affect Cairns and tips on how to be prepared. More

Disaster Coordination Centre (when the Centre is activated)

Telephone 4044 3377

Disaster Management Unit

PO Box 359
Cairns QLD 4870 Australia
Ph (07) 4044 3044
Fx (07) 4044 3830

  • More information on what the DMU does

Last updated: 24 March 2017