February 20, 2015 12:31 AM EST

Tropical Cyclone Marcia made landfall in Queensland, Australia, on Friday morning, battering coastal communities before heading south.

The cyclone moved across the coast as a Category 5 storm with wind speeds of up to 296 km/h. On Friday morning it tore through the towns of Yeppoon and Rockhampton, ripping apart roofs and uprooting trees and power lines, reports the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Marcia has now been downgraded to a Category 3 storm with sustained winds of 150 km/h and is reported to be weakening as it moves south.

Residents are being urged to remain indoors and avoid using roads.

The cyclone brought with it higher-than-normal tides and some areas are liable to tidal and flash floods.

Meanwhile, in the country’s Northern Territory, Cyclone Lam made landfall as a Category 4 system and has now been downgraded to a Category 2.


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Write to Helen Regan at helen.regan@timeasia.com.

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