Australia's Bureau of Meteorology issued severe weather and hazardous surf warnings for Queensland as Tropical Cyclone Oma approaches on Wednesday, February 20. The cyclone is located approximately 1120 km (700 mi) northeast of Brisbane as of 04:00 (local time) and producing sustained winds of 140 km/h (87 mph), or the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane. Authorities warned of abnormally high tides, dangerous surf, and strong winds for southern Queensland, including Brisbane and its surrounding areas, and northern New South Wales.
In New Caledonia, authorities rescinded weather alerts at 06:30 on Wednesday as the worst effects of the cyclone had passed. The storm caused infrastructure and agricultural damage, particularly in the northwest. Around 3000 people remain without power and road closures from debris, downed trees, and flooding are possible.
Cyclone season in the region typically lasts from November to April but storms can occur outside this period.
Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, refrain from oceangoing activity if conditions remain hazardous, and follow all instructions as issued by local authorities (e.g. evacuation orders). In the event of flooding, 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.
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