Monster cyclone strikes northeastern Australia
Tens of thousands stock up on food and hunker down in shelters ahead of Cyclone Yasi. With gusts of 186 mph, it's the strongest storm to hit the area in almost a century.
And this comes in the midst of the worst flooding Australia has had in recorded history.
A massive cyclone struck northeastern Australia early Thursday, tearing off roofs, toppling trees and cutting electricity to thousands -- the most powerful storm to hit the area in nearly a century.
The eye of Cyclone Yasi roared ashore at the small resort town of Mission Beach in Queensland state, battering the coast known to tourists as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef with heavy rain and howling winds gusting to 186 mph (300 kph).
Yasi compounded the suffering for Queensland, waterlogged by months of flooding that killed 35 people and inundated hundreds of communities. It struck an area far north of the flood zone, but the Bureau of Meteorology said its drenching rains could cause floods in new parts of the state.
With damage reports continuing to come in, it appears that Cardwell is the epicentre of the damage caused by Cyclone Yasi when, as a Category 5 system, it slammed into the coast about midnight on Wednesday
Fisherman Stephen Hughes is the owner of one of only four vessels that appear to have survived the storm surge in Port Hinchinbrook.
Mr Hughes described the scene as "catastrophic".
While most of the town’s 1500 residents were evacuated by yesterday, but it is likely they'll have nowhere to return to.
"It is just a scene of mass devastation,"
Major evacuation after SW China earthquake
An earthquake that damaged nearly 700 homes forced some 65,000 people into shelters Wednesday in China's southwestern Yunnan province.
The quake hit Yingjiang County Tuesday afternoon and had a magnitude of 4.8 on the open-ended Richter scale, county officials told the Xinhua news agency.
And this, coming from Israel:
IAF Retaliates for Gaza Rocket Fire
Over the past two days, two Grad missiles and a mortar shell exploded in the southern Israeli towns of Ofakim and Netivot. One landed very close to a hall where a wedding celebration was in progress. Another of the blasts occurred in the Eshkol Regional Council district. At least one rocket hit a parked car in Netivot. Four people were treated for shock.
Israeli fighter pilots bombed a terrorist smuggler tunnel in southern Gaza Wednesday afternoon in retaliation for rocket fire on southern Israel this week. A direct hit was confirmed, but no information was released on whether anyone was inside the tunnel at the time of the strike.