North Queensland is facing a 'potentially very deadly event', according to Premier Anna Bligh, but emergency services say they are ready for Cyclone Yasi.
Forecasters say communities between Cooktown and Townsville are most at risk of a direct hit from Yasi, expected to cross the coast very late on Wednesday as a severe category four system with winds gusting above 250km/h.
Anna Bligh met with the state disaster management group, where authorities predicted Yasi could turn out to be the state's worst cyclone.
Underway now are evacuations of low-lying areas at risk of tidal surges associated with the cyclone and the Premier is in discussion with the defence force about the prospect of requiring their help.
But coastal communities aren't the only ones in the danger zone, with the Bureau of Meteorology warning communities as far inland as Mt Isa could see cyclonic conditions.
More at http://www.bom.gov.au/