Palm trees blow in the wind in the town of Ayr in far north Queensland as Cyclone Debbie approaches on March 28, 2017. / AFP / PETER PARKS
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A powerful cyclone slammed into Australia's tropical northeast coast Tuesday, tearing down fences, snapping trees and knocking out power to tens of thousands of houses, officials said.The destructive eyewall of Cyclone Debbie, a Category 4 storm packing winds up to 260 kilometers per hour (160 miles per hour), made landfall near Airlie Beach, a resort town in Queensland state, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said in a statement.Officials warned that the slow-moving storm was likely to hover over the region for several hours before weakening as it moved inland.Hundreds of schools were closed on Tuesday and more than 50,000 households were without power by mid-afternoon.
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