Cyclone Oma expected to intensify, but stay off coast

«The main impacts are damaging winds along the coastal fringe and big seas, well into next week. We’re observing waves of three to four metres waves along the Sunshine, Gold and Tweed coasts with offshore waves in excess of 10 metres.

«These are expected to increase during the weekend.”

Swell from Cyclone Oma on the Gold Coast.

Swell from Cyclone Oma on the Gold Coast.Credit:Dave Hunt/AAP

Waves up to 13 metres have been detected at Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast.

«Surf and swell conditions will continue to be extremely hazardous for coastal activities such as rock fishing, boating, swimming and surfing,” Mr Gunn said.

«Beaches are closed and authorities are warning the public to stay out of the water this weekend for their own safety.”

Wind was wreaking havoc on Gold Coast beaches on Friday.

Wind was wreaking havoc on Gold Coast beaches on Friday. Credit:AAP/Dave Hunt.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk issued a stern warning to keep away from the surf to residents from the central Queensland coast down to the NSW border.

All Gold Coast beaches will remain closed during the weekend.

Beach erosion will likely reshape parts of Queensland’s coast, but experts said things could have been a lot worse if Oma had made landfall.


Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate said high winds would impact the hinterland throughout this weekend.

“Ironically, given there is little rain in this system, we are conscious of potential fires. Fuel loads in the Springbrook area are high following dry conditions over the past months,» he said.

There is now only a slight chance of rain in Brisbane during the weekend, but gusty winds are expected to blow across the city.

Brisbane lord mayor Graham Quirk warned residents to secure anything that could become a «projectile» if winds pick up.

Residents reeling from devastating Townsville floods could breathe a sigh of relief after the BoM said it was unlikely Cyclone Oma would wreak havoc that far north.

Lydia Lynch is a reporter for the Brisbane Times

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