Two killed in flooding as Cyclone Debbie wreaks havoc in Australia

Wil Longbottom, News Reporter

Two people have been killed as the tail end of Cyclone Debbie swept along Australia's east coast, destroying bridges and cutting off roads.

The disaster zone from the powerful storm stretches 600 miles from Queensland state's tropical resort islands and Gold Coast tourist strip to farmlands in New South Wales.

Six large rivers have reached major flood levels and waters were still rising in several areas, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

Police said the bodies of two women were recovered from floodwaters on Friday night - the first reported deaths since Cyclone Debbie struck on Tuesday.

One was found in a submerged property and the other was recovered by police divers from a car that had been swept off a flooded bridge.

Residents in Lismore, New South Wales, resorted to using boats after the Wilson River burst the town's levee on Friday.

Authorities have ordered more evacuations in parts of the state on Saturday, while the city of Rockhampton in Queensland is bracing for record-level flooding next week, according to Queensland Police.

Officials have said it may not be safe for many people to return to their homes until Monday.

The region has been hit by days of torrential rain, with the cyclone also bringing winds of up to 160mph.

More than 200 people have had to be rescued from the flooding.

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