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2 Major Cyclones Are Lashing 2 Parts Of Australia

Two major tropical cyclones are affecting two different parts of Australia at the same time.

Cyclone Lam came ashore Thursday as a category 4 storm and Marcia is expected to make landfall as a category 5 storm with wind gusts of up to 177 mph.

Lam is lashing the Northern Territory, while Marcia is expected to make landfall in Queensland. If your Australian geography is failing you, here's a map from the Australian government's Bureau of Meteorology:

A map showing where Cyclones Lam and Marcia are located.
/ Australia's Bureau of Meteorology
Australia's Bureau of Meteorology
A map showing where Cyclones Lam and Marcia are located.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that several thousand people on Elcho Island had already lost power because of the storm and the Aboriginal community of Warruwi was evacuated using helicopters.

On cyclone Marcia, ABC reports:

"In St Lawrence, hundreds of locals were asked to evacuate by police last night, and urgent evacuations were ordered in Yeppoon early this morning.

"Queensland Police said the emergency cyclone shelter at the St Lawrence bowls club had been shut down as it was not strong enough to handle the system."

The news site, news.com.au, reports that the Bureau of Meteorology has only recorded four other category 5 cyclones making landfall in Queensland.

"Cyclone Mahina in Princess Charlotte Bay in 1899, a cyclone in Mackay and another in Innisfail in 1918 (they didn't have names) and Cyclone Yasi in 2011," the site reports.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.