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Homeland Security

Australia Deploys Troops to Help in Storm Recovery

VOA News February 04, 2011

Australia deployed 4,000 troops Friday to aid the northeastern state of Queensland recover after a monster category-five cyclone swept through the area.

Queensland officials say the coastal communities of Cardwell, Tully and Mission Beach bore the full brunt of Cyclone Yasi, which made landfall early Thursday carrying winds as high as 300 kilometers an hour.

Authorities on Friday confirmed the first death from the storm and said a search is under way for two missing people.

The storm tore the tops off hundreds of homes and buildings in the most affected areas, and downed trees and power lines, leaving nearly 200,000 residents without electricity. It also caused significant damage to Queensland's crucial sugar and banana crops.

The storm is weakening as it moves across the Queensland outback region.

Cyclone Yasi is the latest natural disaster to hit Queensland. Several weeks of heavy rains and flash flooding has killed 35 people and caused billions of dollars in damages.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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