Tropical Cyclone Jasper slammed into Australia's Queensland coastline midday Wednesday as a destructive Category 2 storm, battering the Far North's sparsely populated shoreline with howling 140 km/h winds and torrential rainfall.
Jasper is the first cyclone of the season to cross the coast after it rapidly intensified overnight into a Category 2 hurricane on the 5-tier scale.
The eye of the cyclone crashed ashore near the small Aboriginal community of Wujal Wujal, approximately 110 kilometers north of Cairns, uprooting trees and cutting power to over 15,000 homes even before making landfall.
While Jasper's winds diminished quickly as the system moved inland, emergency officials warn life-threatening flash flooding could still inundate towns through the week ahead due to the extreme rainfall.
So far, no storm-related deaths or injuries have been reported across the remote northern area first struck by Jasper.
But comprehensive damage assessments are still in the early stages, hampered by downed power lines and blocked roads. Officials stress the full scale of destruction may not be known for days as emergency teams struggle to reach the worst-hit centres north of Cairns in the aftermath of the Category 2 hurricane's arrival.
Flooding rains could persist, delaying efforts to inventory property damage and determine reconstruction costs.