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The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) in consultation with Emergency Management Queensland (EMQ) will now be issuing the Standard Emergency Warning Signal (SEWS) for severe weather events in the Wide Bay area.

EMQ Assistant Director-General Bruce Grady said EMQ had been advised by the BoM that current radar imagery suggests the strong possibility of tornado-like activity continuing to affect areas across the Wide Bay and Burnett District.

“While it is not possible to indicate where exactly these events will occur, destructive winds, heavy rainfall, abnormally high tides and dangerous surf has been forecast for the Wide Bay and Burnett, Southeast Coast and parts of the Darling Downs and Granite Belt Districts,” Mr Grady said.

“I urge people in the affected areas to log on to the BoM website and tune in to their local radio station for the latest information.

“Authorities have received multiple reports of tornado-like activity occurring across the northern Wide Bay area this afternoon and evening which has resulted in significant structural damage and injury. I urge residents to remain vigilant, prepare themselves and heed the warnings from authorities.”

Mr Grady said residents in the affected areas should finalise their preparations by:
• Securing animals and loose outdoor items and disconnecting all electrical items;
• Filling buckets and the bath with water in case the water supply becomes restricted and ensure they have sufficient water purification tablets to make the water drinkable;
• Ensuring windows are fitted with shutters are closed securely. Other windows should be taped in a criss-crossing fashion, using strong packing tape;
• Remaining indoors, keeping emergency kits close by and if affected seek shelter in the strongest part of the house;
• If in a storm surge area, organise with a relative or friend living on higher ground to stay with them until 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.

“If impacted by a severe weather event remain inside until receiving official advice that it is safe to go outside,” he said.

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

For flood or storm 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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