Emergency Message: Severe Tropical Cyclone Marcia

The U.S. Consulate General in Sydney advises U.S. citizens that Cyclone Marcia, a Category 5 storm, is expected to make landfall on the central Queensland coast today, February 20.  The Australian Government has warned that this storm poses an extremely serious threat to life and property, particularly in the areas between St. Lawrence and Hervey Bay.  The Cyclone warning extends from Sarina to Double Island Point, extending inland to Moura, Biloela, Monto, Taroom, Mundubbera, and Murgon, and includes the cities of Rockhampton and Gladstone.  All U.S. citizens living in or traveling to the area should monitor local weather reports, follow directions from local officials, and take other appropriate action as needed.

The destructive core of the storm is expected to make landfall in the next few hours.  Extremely high winds, dangerous storm tides, and heavy rainfall are expected to continue throughout the day and may result in flooding.

A separate Severe Weather Warning is in place for south of Double Island Point and inland to eastern parts of the Darling Downs and Granite Belt.

Current cyclone alerts are online at the Australia Bureau of Meterology websiteCyclone preparation information is also available.

We strongly encourage that U.S. citizens traveling abroad enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to contact you in an emergency.  If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution.  For additional information, refer to the Traveler’s Checklist on the State Department’s website.

You will find additional information on cyclones and storm preparedness on the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ Know Before You Go website.  Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions.  You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to have travel information at your fingertips.