Jan. 31 - Cyclone Dylan is downgraded to tropical low after hitting Australia's north Queensland coast. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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Coal shipping ports in northeastern Australia remained closed on Friday (January 31) after a powerful cyclone slammed into the coast in the early hours, packing heavy winds and generating giant tides, port officials said.
At around 2200 GMT Thursday, Cyclone Dylan was downgraded to a tropical low and was estimated to be over land 35 km (21 miles) south southeast of the Bowen coal mining region and moving south southwest at 26 km (16 miles) per hour, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
The storm was moving inland and weakening, the bureau said.
Residents in the towns Airlee Beach, Mackay and Bowen are still taking precautions as some areas may experience flooding, local media reported.
Coal traders said a short interruption to shipping would have little impact on markets, given plentiful supplies in most markets and the slowdown in business activity in Asia because of the Lunar New Year holiday.
There were no immediate reports of damage to any port facilities or collieries.
The Hay Point terminal, used to ship coal mined jointly by BHP Billiton and Mitsubishi Corp, was shuttered earlier this week, along with the nearby Mackay port.