AZUZ: Authorities in northeastern Australia are trying to get a sense of the destruction from Cyclone Debbie. The system made landfall early on Tuesday. It was capable of devastating damage and Debbie had gotten stronger as it approached land. Wind speeds of up to 150 miles per hour, a storm surge, a rise in the sea level of more than 13 feet was possible.
Thousands of people in the Australian state of Queensland had been ordered to leave their homes. Police warned that they could not shelter from a storm surge.
Queensland's premier said the cyclone would be nasty, that it was capable of being as severe as the last major storm to hit the area. Cyclone Yasi knocked home off their foundations and destroyed farmland back in 2011.
Debbie was also expected to have particularly bad timing. Our affiliate 7 News said its landfall would coincide with the high tide, threatening homes anywhere near the coasts. Schools were closed, emergency workers were deployed to the region as the equivalent of a category 3 hurricane approach.
SUBTITLE: Typhoons vs. hurricanes: What's the difference?
MYERS: Typhoons are hurricanes, are cyclones. They are the same thing, just in different oceans. A lot like a hot cake is a flap jack is a pancake is short stack.
If you are west of the dateline, so west of Hawaii, north of the equator, you're a typhoon. If you're in the Atlantic or the Pacific, around America, you are a hurricane. And if you are around the Indian Ocean or in the southern hemisphere, you're a cyclone.
So, it's not out of the question for a hurricane to become a typhoon if it moves over the dateline. In fact, after crossing the international dateline, Hurricane Genevieve turned into Typhoon Genevieve a few years ago.