A tropical cyclone has hit the eastern Australian state of Queensland, with the death toll now standing at nine.
Key points:More than 100 people have been rescued from the area as the storm made landfall on the coast of the Queensland stateThe storm hit the state’s coast in a storm surge eventMore than 50,000 homes have been evacuated in the region as a resultThe storm has damaged at least four major roadways and a hospital in the state of Victoria, and officials are searching for a third person who was on board the plane that landed at the airport in Brisbane, but has not yet been located.
The state’s Emergency Management Department says it is assisting with the rescue efforts, with around 100 people being rescued from a beach on the eastern coast.
The storm caused heavy rain and wind gusts to blow in the coastal town of Cairns.
Emergency services and Queensland Fire and Rescue Service personnel worked for hours to remove residents from the coast, where many of them were in temporary shelter.
Emergency Services Chief Executive Steve O’Connor said the storm had damaged at most four major roads and a major hospital, with authorities searching for the third person on board.
“It’s pretty devastating,” he said.
“You’re dealing with huge amounts of damage to infrastructure and power lines.
It’s going to be a very long recovery.”
Aerial footage from the air shows what appears to be flooded streets in Cairn.
More than 200 flights were cancelled and the state had to shut all schools and other community services until Monday afternoon.
“There are no longer any flights in the immediate area of Caleo,” Chief Commissioner Chris Laidlaw said.
Mr Laidwa said about 30 people were rescued from an area of the coast in the city of Croydon.
“We were able to locate one person who’s been in Caleos hotel.
We’re not sure what his condition is, but we do know he’s safe,” he told the ABC.
Queensland Government said the evacuation orders were lifted at about 6:00pm local time (08:00 GMT) on Monday.
“Our advice to people who may be in the vicinity is that we will not be providing assistance to those who are in distress,” a spokeswoman said.
Emergency Service and Queensland Ambulance Service staff work to rescue people from flood waters on the shore of Cribbs Beach.
Emergency officials have said that more than 50 homes have had to be evacuated in Croydens west of the state capital, Brisbane.
A large number of schools in Cribbers Point have been closed and there are fears of flooding in the nearby towns of Cottesloe and Glenorchy.
“Schools are being closed at Glenorchys schools, Glenorcheys schools and all other schools,” Mr Laidwel said.
Queers head to hospital after tropical cyclonesThe Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (ANHMRC) said two patients in Brisbane Hospital had been released from intensive care.
“The patients are currently in stable condition, but have been transported to Brisbane Hospital,” a statement said.ABC Weather presenter Andrew Bolt was on a flight from Brisbane to Cairngorm with his crew on Monday morning when he spotted the storm.
“I saw the waves crashing through the window and the clouds that were rising up the hills,” he wrote on Facebook.
“My crew were stuck in a small cabin in the cabin on the plane.
There was no air-conditioning.”
Mr Bolt told the Nine Network that he was lucky not to have been trapped on board with the storm, as it was “unlikely that anything like this would happen”.
“We just have to wait and see,” he added.
Queues for emergency workers to respond to the storm were expected to get longer and more congested, with some airports being closed for the day.
“Aircraft from the ground are already arriving at the affected airports in Brisbane,” Mr O’Neill said.
In Cairndon, the state government said about 50 people had been evacuated, and police were searching for another person who is believed to be missing.
More to come.