The eye of the severe tropical cyclone Debbie is now impacting the Whitsunday Islands and nearby mainland. Flooding is a possibility for a large part of Queensland.
Here's what we know so far.
Where is it?
At 3pm Cyclone Debbie is within 30 kilometres of 20.3 degrees South 148.5 degrees East, estimated to be 45 kilometres southeast of Bowen and 10 kilometres northwest of Proserpine.
Where's it heading?
Southwest at 13 kilometres per hour slowly moving in the next 12 to 18 hours before curving to a more southerly track over inland Queensland
What's its status?
Debbie is currently a Category 3 cyclone with confirmed winds of 262 km/h at Hamilton Island airport this morning, and 165 km/h at Proserpine Airport and 148 km/h at Bowen Airport this afternoon.
What are the dangers?
The latest from BOM warns the 'VERY DESTRUCTIVE CORE' of cyclone Debbie has hit Whitsunday Islands and the nearby mainland.
The centre of the system is beginning to make landfall on mainland coast between Bowen and Airlie Beach with wind gusts potentially to 270 km/h near the centre. For the full hazard list head here.
What's the advice?
Stay put, stay calm and wait for the all-clear. People in the path of Debbie should remain in a secure shelter, above the expected water level, while the very destructive winds continue. Emergency services won't be able to respond till the all-clear has been given.
Ensure there is plenty of protection around them, mattresses, rugs, pillows, and keep phone, radio, and torches close.
What are emergency services doing?
Around 2000 extra staff from a variety of agencies have been sent to the area already. About 600 hospital beds are available in the region. More than 800 staff from Energy Queensland are ready to help restore lost power. The army is on standby.
What has been affected?
More than 34,000 households are without power and 400 schools and child care centres have been closed. Locals are already reporting damage to roofs and some buildings while fallen trees and power lines are proving hazardous.