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Cyclones to strike flood-weary Australia
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 31 - 01 - 2011

shattered Australia braced for further downpours Sunday as two tropical cyclones hammered toward the devastated northeast, threatening further misery for already submerged towns. Tropical Cyclone Anthony was intensifying as it closed in on Queensland state, where it was expected to make landfall on Sunday night near the northeastern city of Townsville, the weather bureau said.
Abnormally high tides were forecast along the coast along with intense rain and flooding to catchments already brimming from a deluge that hit vast areas of the state earlier this month, swamping tens of thousands of homes and killing 35 people. “After the summer that's been you just think, ‘Can any more cruel blows actually land on Queensland and the nation?' and unfortunately the answer seems to be yes,” said Prime Minister Julia Gillard. “We're all made of tough stuff and we'll get through this but this is another big cruel blow coming on top of what has been a summer of tragedy already.”
An especially strong La Nina weather pattern is gripping Australia, bringing flooding rains and increasing the chance of cyclones due to cooler waters in the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
Record flooding devastated an area larger than France and Germany combined in mining and farming Queensland state earlier this month after Tropical Cyclone Tasha unleashed huge downpours which engorged rivers to bursting point.
Currently a category two cyclone, Anthony is expected to peak on Sunday evening and weaken as it makes landfall, with winds of up to 165 km and between 200 and 400 millimetres of rain.

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