Lady Elliot on evacuation watch

An image of Cyclone Ului from the Bureau of Meteorology.
An image of Cyclone Ului from the Bureau of Meteorology.

UPDATED: DIRECTORS of the Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort are puzzled by reports of the island's evacuation due to severe weather caused by Cyclone Ului.

Resort managing director Peter Gash said there were no plans to evacuate the island at this stage.

Mr Gash said they were watching the situation very closely, and could evacuate the staff and guests on the island by air within an hour if they had to.

Resort acting manager Phil Trattles said the weather on the island was fine at the moment.

“There’s a 20-knot wind, the sun is shining and the snorkelling boats are operating,” he said.

Mr Gash said he was surprised by comments from Gladstone Police that they planned to evacuate guests from both Lady Elliot and Heron islands.

Acting Inspector Julia Cook said ferries would bring 260 residents and visitors from Heron Island, and 70 people from Lady Elliot Island, to the mainland over the next two days.

"It's unknown what will occur, however for safety ... Lady Elliot and Heron Island will commence evacuation today," she told the ABC.

She said any evacuation of the islands needed to be done early to avoid people being trapped by rough seas.

The path of the category 5 cyclone has been uncertain for the past week, but the Bureau of Meteorology says Ului could cross the coast  this weekend.

“Probably about Friday, things will take a bit of a turn for the  worse and the cyclone will start moving west-southwest towards the  coast,"  senior forecaster Tony Wedd said.  

"It does look like it will cross the Queensland coast  somewhere - most likely the central Queensland coast."

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