According to the Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory and Queensland state remain under a warning and watch zones as of Thursday, December 13, due to the passage of the Category 3 Tropical Cyclone Owen. Associated strong winds (gusts above 280 kph - 130 mph) and heavy rainfall (up to 400 mm - 16 in - in Queensland's far north, and 100 mm - 4 in - in the southeast) were reported. The cyclone is forecast to strengthen into a Category 4 cyclone (fourth-highest level on a five-tier scale) on Friday, December 14. Owen could make landfall on the western coast of the Cape York Peninsula, south of Kowanyama late on Friday (local time). Further heavy downpours, along with wind gusts, are expected in the coming hours and days, with the potential to lead to flooding and landslides. Extra rescue and emergency personnel have been deployed to the cyclone warning area. Significant related transportation disruptions are possible in the coming days.
The Australian cyclone season typically lasts from November to April.
Individuals present in the affected regions are advised to monitor local weather reports and weather alerts issued by the Bureau of Meteorology, confirm travel reservations, avoid nonessential travel, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities. Remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater or chemical products; all items having come into contact with the water should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.
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