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Second cyclone hits Australia's northeast coast

Written by: Staff

SYDNEY, Apr 19: A tropical cyclone with winds of up to 200 kph (125 mph) crossed Australia's remote northeast coast today, officials said, the second cyclone to hit northern Queensland in a month.

There were no early reports of damage in the area, where there are few major settlements or infrastructure.

Residents had been warned to take shelter as Tropical Cyclone Monica, a mid-range category-three storm, closed in on Lockhart River, an Aboriginal community of about 600 people in Queensland state's sparsely populated Cape York Peninsula.

The cyclone began crossing the coast just south of Lockhart River, about 2,000 km (1,200 miles) north of the Queensland capital Brisbane, soon after 2 p.m. local time (0400 GMT), meteorologists said.

''It will take a couple of hours to cross the coast. It should weaken slightly as it moves across Cape York Peninsula,'' Queensland Weather Bureau meteorologist Manfred Greitschus told Sky television.

''It still could produce destructive winds for crops or vegetation and weaker shelters.'' Cyclone Monica was much weaker than maximum category-five Cyclone Larry, which caused at least A0 million (5 million) in damage when it hit near Innisfail, well south of Lockhart River, last month, smashing houses and destroying banana crops.


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