Cyclone Debbie Closes North Queensland’s Ports

Ports of Abbot Point, Hay Point and Mackay have been closed after severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie hit the North Queensland coast, North Queensland Bulk Ports (NQBP) informed.

Steve Lewis, NQBP Chief Executive Officer, said the corporation’s Whitsunday ports were all experiencing large swells, high winds and heavy rains on March 28.

Lewis said NQBP has been working closely with port partners and emergency services to secure the port and begin planning for the resumption of safe port operations.

“In addition to landside inspections, a survey of seabed assets such as navigational channels and berth pockets must be carried out to the satisfaction of the Harbour Master and our own expert marine pilots before ports can re-open for shipping,” Lewis explained.

NQBP’s emergency response team has started inspecting port assets.

“The southern breakwater at Port of Mackay has suffered some damage. But considering the extreme conditions, it has weathered the storm,” NQBP said in an update on Facebook.

“Conditions remain severe, and the breakwater remains closed to public access,” NQBP added.

Vessel traffic has resumed at Queensland’s Port of Townsville, the port tweeted.

However, the Port of Townsville added that the after effects of Cyclone Debbie linger on at the port.

The cyclone has also closed several coal export terminals in the region, threatening coal exports from Queensland, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported.