An average cyclone life cycle is nine days - from formation to gale force winds during the most intense stage, to eventual decay and dissipation.
Cyclones can last for days or even weeks, hovering out to sea and often moving erratically.
Beware the calm 'eye' of the cyclone when conditions may ease. If the wind drops, the cyclone is not over. Violent winds will soon resume from another direction. Wait for the official 'all clear' and stay safe inside.
Even without a direct hit from the cyclone, strong winds and heavy rain can impact areas many kilometres from the cyclone's centre.