The Queensland Department of Education has issued a statement regarding the impact Cyclone Debbie is having on the state’s school system.
The statement, issued on Tuesday afternoon, said a number of schools in central and north Queensland will remain closed as the superstorm lashes the state.
According to the Department’s school closures website, more than 100 state schools remain closed, as well as 23 Catholic and Independent schools. More than 250 early childhood education and care service centres remain closed.
Schools in Townsville, however, will reopen today after being closed on Tuesday due to public safety reasons.
The cyclone made landfall at 1pm on Tuesday, with winds at its centre around 185km/h and gusts up to 260km/h.
“In the interests of public safety, schools in coastal and immediate inland areas from Giru in the north to St Lawrence in the south and inland to Charters Towers will remain closed until we are sure the situation is safe,” a spokesperson for the Department said.
“Parents with children at independent and Catholic schools should check with individual schools about local arrangements. Safety must be the top priority in this event and the Department has contacted state schools in affected areas.”
Parents are also being urged to contact their local transport providers, such as bus companies, for updates on the availability of services.
“The Department urges parents, families and children not to take unnecessary risks outdoors,” the spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is mobilising soldiers, vehicles, aircraft and other resources as part of a taskforce to “save human life” and “alleviate human suffering”.
Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, has described the cyclone as “equivalent to a one in 100 year event”.
Update: March 30, 2017
The Department has said that all state schools in Metropolitan, North Coast and South East Regions are closed today due to the worsening conditions from Cyclone Debbie.