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

The Whitsunday Islands in the heart of the Great Barrier Reefsuffered “substantial damage” when Cyclone Debbie swept throughyesterday, and roads have been cut off around coastal towns, statePremier Annastacia Palaszczuk told ABC television Wednesday. AndrewWillcox, a regional mayor, told the broadcaster the town of Bowenlooks “like a war zone.”

Flooding expected


Severe weather warnings remain in place even after Debbie wasdowngraded to a tropical low overnight as it moved inland, withdamaging wind and heavy rain expected to cause flooding, accordingto the Bureau of Meteorology. The storm halted at least 20 percentof coal output from the biggest producing basin in Queensland, withBHP Billiton Ltd. and Glencore Plc suspending operations.

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