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Cyclone Debbie pounds Australia's northeast

Widespread damage reported following wind gusts and heavy rain; many airlines suspend flights to and from region while BHP Billiton and Glencore halt work at mines

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A deserted neighbourhood in the town of Ayr in far north Queensland as Cyclone Debbie hit the coastline on Tuesday. It is the strongest storm to hit Queensland since Cyclone Yasi created havoc in 2011.

Sydney

HOWLING winds, heavy rain and huge seas pounded Australia's northeast on Tuesday, damaging homes, wrecking jetties and cutting power to thousands of people as Tropical Cyclone Debbie tore through the far north of Queensland.

Wind gusts stronger than 260 km per hour were

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