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Australians evacuate as cyclone aims for NE coast
ByASSOCIATED PRESS
February 1, 2011 10:16

Military helicopters evacuated hospital patients Tuesday as authorities ordered thousands of people to flee a powerful, "life-threatening" cyclone roaring toward waterlogged northeast Australia.

Cyclone Yasi was forecast to directly hit the far northern city of Cairns late Wednesday with wind gusts up to 155 mph, the Bureau of Meteorology said. Up to three feet (one meter) of rain could fall on communities in Queensland state already saturated from months of flooding.

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