Thousands take shelter as Cyclone Debbie lashes Australian coastal resorts

March 28, 2017 By Tom Westbrook and Benjamin Weir SYDNEY (Reuters) – Coastal areas in northeast Australia were battered by high winds and heavy rainfall on Tuesday as a powerful cyclone, which prompted authorities to urge some 30,000 people to evacuate, hit island resorts along the world-famous Great Barrier Reef. Cyclone Debbie was upgraded overnight to a category four storm, just one rung below the most dangerous wind speed level. Authorities warned it could reach level five by the time it makes landfall around 2 p.m. local time (0300 GMT)….

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