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Destructive Debbie: North Queenslanders Warned To Expect The Worst

Authorities prepping for fatalities

Destructive Debbie: North Queenslanders Warned To Expect The Worst

Pic credit: Jess Millward (JessMillward9)

The huge clean up effort post-Cyclone Debbie will start at first light today, after the weather bureau downgraded the cell to a tropical low. 

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Up to 50,000 people spent the night without power or communication... Bowen, Mackay and the Whitsundays hit the hardest. 

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At least one person has been injured - a man in his 60s taken to Proserpine Hospital after a wall collapsed on him - but authorities say they're expecting to learn of fatalities.

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It hasn't been ALL bad news for our Ambos though.. a baby was born at the Whitsunday Ambulance Station in the midst of the weather madness. 

Today, rapid assessment teams will be send in to observe the damage, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk warning the full extent of the damage will be shocking: 

"We'll be sending people in as soon as possible. We've already had some preliminary reports in from Proserpine, we understand that there is some structural damage to houses."

"Let's not forget that some of these houses are built before 1985. They're your typical Queenslander house that people love, they've raised their families there for generations, and they have been battered by this cyclone". 

At its worst, Debbie was packing winds of up to 265 km/h. Trees were snapped like tooth picks, roofs and walls ripped from houses and buildings. 

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The Insurance Council's already declared a catastrophe. 

The Prime Minister's activated the defence force, sending the army in to help emergency crews.

"The people of Queensland are resilient and strong and we put in place the biggest pre-deployment of the Australian Defence Force in advance of a natural disaster"

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