King tides at Happy Valley, Fraser Island on Thursday morning.
King tides at Happy Valley, Fraser Island on Thursday morning. Contributed

IT'S OFFICIAL: BOM puts us in cyclone danger zone

A CYCLONE watch has been issued from Bundaberg to Ballina in northern NSW as Tropical Cyclone Oma continues to bear its way towards the Fraser Coast.

It follows a cyclone watch being issued from Bundaberg to Ballina.

The Fraser and Sunshine Coasts were expected to cop the heaviest falls.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, a cyclone watch status refers to the likelihood of impact within 48 hours.

Forecasters on Wednesday night could not rule out the possibility of Oma intensifying beyond a category 2.

Official cyclone alerts are issued when the storm is likely to impact a region within 24 hours.

This alert is expected to be issued on Friday.

While forecasters predict the system is now only 20 per cent likely to hit the coast, warnings are in place for severe weather and hazardous surf conditions, strong winds and up to 300mm of rain are expected in places.

The Fraser Coast's Local Disaster Management Group has moved to alert phase in preparation for any expected flood or wild weather incidents.

Speaking to the Chronicle yesterday, deputy LDMG chair and councillor Stuart Taylor said the council was making their plans and preparing for the cyclone to cross.

"What we need to do right now is be prepared, every home should have their own strategy for preparation," Cr Taylor said.

"And (people) should not be alarmed or concerned about the impact.

"It's still a very fluid situation and we're uncertain as to where it's going to impact."

Cr Taylor said rain would likely impact the Fraser Coast and urged residents to avoid swimming at beaches during dangerous surf conditions.

"We are very prepared and very ready and our community can feel safe and assured that we've got the plans in place to make sure their property and person is protected," he said.

Cyclone Oma is expected to close within 400km of the Sunshine Coast on Sunday before hooking in and tracking north along the coast.

Hazardous surf warnings remain in place for Queensland as well as severe weather warnings for abnormally high tides in parts of the Wide Bay, Burnett, Gold Coast, Maroochydore, Moreton Island, Noosa Heads, Caloundra and Rainbow Beach regions.

Most beaches between Fraser Island and the Sunshine Coast have been closed from a combination of the expected cyclone and king tides.



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