In this image made from video, wind gusts outside shops in Bowen, eastern Australia, Tuesday, March 28, 2017. A powerful cyclone lashed islands, damaged roofs and cut power on Tuesday as it edged toward Australia's tropical northeast coast, officials said. (AuBC via AP)

(Bloomberg) – A huge clean-up operation is under way in the Australian state of Queensland after a powerful cyclone swept through the region, tearing roofs off buildings, downing trees and forcing tourists to bunker down at luxury island resorts.

The Whitsunday Islands in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef suffered “substantial damage” when Cyclone Debbie swept through yesterday, and roads have been cut off around coastal towns, state Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told ABC television Wednesday. Andrew Willcox, a regional mayor, told the broadcaster the town of Bowen looks “like a war zone.”

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