Australia

In pictures: Cyclone Debbie hits Australia

Cyclone Debbie has hit the north-eastern Australian state of Queensland, bringing fierce gales and heavy rain along with it.

Thousands of people have been evacuated, with many seeking refuge in temporary shelters.

One of the affected areas is Airlie Beach, a popular tourist spot that has turned into a ghost town as the storm hit.

Strong winds and rain lash Airlie Beach, Australia, 28 March 2017. Image copyright EPA

Buildings sustained damage and outdoor furniture was flung into this motel's pool.

Outdoor furniture floats in a pool, placed for safety, at a motel at Airlie Beach, Queensland, Australia, 28 March 2017 Image copyright EPA

Large trees were uprooted by the storm's forceful winds.

A fallen palm tree lies next to a building at Airlie Beach, Queensland, Australia, 28 March 2017 Image copyright EPA

Residents along the coast, including those in the town of Ayr, have been evacuated.

A family relaxes in a temporary cyclone shelter in the town of Ayr in far north Queensland as Cyclone Debbie approaches on 28 March 2017. Image copyright AFP/Getty Images

Children were given the day off as schools closed during the emergency.

Children entertain themselves in a temporary cyclone shelter in the town of Ayr in far north Queensland as Cyclone Debbie approaches on 28 March 2017. Image copyright AFP/Getty Images

Australia's Bureau of Meteorology satellite images on Tuesday afternoon showed a white swirl over Queensland as the cyclone made landfall.

Screenshot of Australian Bureau of Meteorology sat image of Cyclone Debbie 28 March 2017 Image copyright Australia BOM

Interactive weather-tracking website WindyTV also shows the cyclone.

Screenshot of WindyTV sat image of Cyclone Debbie 28 March 2017 Image copyright WindyTV

On Monday, storm clouds were seen over Ayr as the cyclone approached.

Storm clouds gather in the town of Ayr in far north Queensland as Cyclone Debbie approaches on 27 March 2017. Image copyright AFP/Getty Images

Satellite images courtesy of Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

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