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Cyclone Niran expected to intensify off North Qld coast
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  • A tropical cyclone off the coast of North Queensland that has left thousands of homes without power is expected to intensify over the new 24 hours
  • Cyclone Niran has flattened powerlines and torn up banana plantations in coastal Queensland, bringing wind gusts of up to 140 kilometres per hour
  • However, the Bureau of Meteorology said the cyclone is expected to strengthen to a category three system over the next day
  • Warning zones have been extended from Cape Melville to Innisfail, including Cooktown, Port Douglas and Cairns
  • Meanwhile, a flood watch has been issued between Cooktown and Rollingstone in light of abnormally high tides and large waves
  • The cyclone is expected to track southeast on Thursday and move away from the coast

A tropical cyclone off the coast of North Queensland that has left thousands of homes without power is expected to intensify over the new 24 hours.

Cyclone Niran has flattened power lines and torn up banana plantations across Innisfail this week as the tropical low causes wild weather off the coast of Cairns.

The cyclone has already been upgraded to a category two system, but, according to the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), the worst is yet to come.

While the cyclone is expected to remain offshore, the BoM said it will likely reach Category Three this week.

As the system strengthens, winds of up to 100 kilometres per hour have been recorded near the cyclone's centre, with wind gusts of up to 140 kilometres.

The BoM said with the cyclone continuing to intensify, coastal and island communities between Cape Melville and Innisfail should prepare for gales later today or early on Thursday.

While Niran is slow-moving, it's expected to track southeast on Thursday and move away from the coast.

Warning zones have been extended from Cape Melville to Innisfail, including Cooktown, Port Douglas and Cairns.

Meanwhile, a flood watch has been issued between Cooktown and Rollingstone in light of abnormally high tides and large waves.

Eleven schools are still closed around the Cairns region, with Queensland State Emergency Services working hard to restore power to thousands of homes, fix leaky roofs and assist with minor flooding.

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