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Thousands take shelter as Cyclone Debbie lashes Australian coastal resorts

6:54am BST - 01:04

Coastal areas in northeast Australia are battered by high winds and heavy rainfall as Cyclone Debbie hits island resorts along the world-famous Great Barrier Reef. Samantha Vadas reports.

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Winds of more than 135 miles per hour, and flash flooding from torrential rain. Cyclone Debbie takes her toll on Australia's far north. By lunchtime on Tuesday (March 28) islands off what's known as the Sunshine State were in the eye of the storm. Popular resorts along the world-famous Great Barrier Reef taking a battering, before Debbie made her way toward the mainland. Thirty thousand people have been forced to evacuate so far. Tourists with nowhere to go hunkering down in their hotel rooms. Though while many took shelter, some were brave enough to venture outdoors. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNIDENTIFIED MAN, SAYING: "I think there's still worse to come to be honest, as it comes around and goes northerly, I think we're going to cop more of it." Debbie is the most powerful cyclone to hit the area in six years. Her force cutting power to more than twenty thousand people. The army is on standby to deal with the aftermath. But for now, she continues on her path of destruction.

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Thousands take shelter as Cyclone Debbie lashes Australian coastal resorts

6:54am BST - 01:04