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Emergency Management Queensland (EMQ) is advising residents in coastal areas from Karumba to Cape York to finalise their preparations as Tropical Cyclone Oswald nears the coast.

At 4.43pm on Monday, 21 January the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) issued a cyclone warning, advising residents that Tropical Cyclone Oswald, a category 1 cyclone, was expected to cross the coast between Aurukun and Kowanyama later this evening.

The Bureau advised gales with gusts up to 90 km/h were occurring on the coast around Kowanyama and Pormpuraaw and were expected to extend northward towards Aurukun as the cyclone approached.

Heavy rainfall that may lead to flooding is likely in areas between Karumba and Torres Strait, including Mornington Island, today and will persist into Tuesday.

As the cyclone crosses the coast, a storm tide is expected to impact coastal areas between Kowanyama and Weipa. Large waves may produce minor flooding along the foreshore, and people living in these areas should take measures to protect their property and be prepared to help their neighbours.

Residents in the affected areas should finalise their storm surge and cyclone preparations by:
• Securing animals and loose outdoor items and disconnecting all electrical items;
• Filling buckets and bath with water in case water supply becomes restricted and ensuring you have sufficient water purification tablets to make the water drinkable;
• Ensuring windows fitted with shutters are closed securely. Other windows should be taped in a criss-crossing fashion using strong packing tape;
• Remaining indoors, keeping their emergency kit close and seeking shelter in the strongest part of the house;
• If in a storm surge area, organising with a relative or friend living on higher ground to stay with them until after the storm surge has passed or seek shelter in an established emergency shelter; and
• If you are driving, immediately park in an area that is clear of powerlines and trees and water courses and remain inside the car.

Beware the calm eye of the cyclone and stay inside until you’ve received official advice that it is safe to go outside.

Remember ‘If it’s flooded, forget it.’ Under no circumstance should people enter floodwaters by road or on foot.

Keep listening to your local radio and watch the BoM website to monitor the movement and severity of the cyclone.

For cyclone related assistance contact the State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500 and in a life-threatening emergency call Triple Zero (000).

Contact for media enquiries: DCS media unit on (07) 3635 3310.

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