North Queenslanders have been instructed to prepare for strong winds, heavy rain and unusually high tides as a tropical low system is expected to increase into a cyclone on Tuesday

The warning applies to residents between Cape Flattery and Lucinda in the north of the state

The Bureau of Meteorology warns that gusts of wind could reach up to 120 km / h if the system moves

“The tropical low is expected to continue slowly moving northeast today before slowly moving or possibly slowly drifting back westwards tonight through Wednesday,” the office warns

“The low is expected to gradually intensify into a tropical cyclone this morning and then intensify further over the next two days

“A coast crossing through the core of the cyclone is not to be expected However, storms can develop in the warning zone in the late evening or Wednesday morning when the cyclone takes a trail further west ”

Up to 40000 homes and businesses have already been left without power when the wind crashed power lines, trees and fences in Cairns on Monday

Ergon Energy said crews were working under “challenging” conditions to troubleshoot outages in Far North Queensland that affected thousands of customers

“Wind and heavy rain have put trees and branches on power lines So be careful and be aware of this life-threatening danger, “it said

“Our crews will work as quickly as possible to restore the power supply However, we ask for your patience if they are delayed by circumstances beyond your control ”

The tropical system has also forced the closure of dozens of schools in the area, including:

The BoM advised people likely to be affected “to take steps to protect their property as much as possible and be ready to help their neighbors”

BoM Cairns, cyclone

World News – AU – Dozens of schools in Queensland have closed as the cyclone is expected to “intensify”