Two Australians were killed and tens of thousands left stranded Saturday after the remnants of a category four cyclone battered the east coast. More than 100,000 homes were left without power and an area stretching 600 miles was declared a disaster zone after Cyclone Debbie hit earlier this week. The country’s Bureau of Meteorology said six major rivers had reached flood levels and were still rising on Saturday. The bodies of two female victims were recovered Friday, the first fatalities to be reported since the cyclone hit. The victims’ identities were not released, but police said one woman’s body was found on a flooded property and another woman was found in a car that had been swept off a bridge by flood waters. Cyclone Debbie wreaked havoc in Queensland on Tuesday, wiping out power lines and crippling tourist resorts along the Gold Coast. The storm is expected to put a major dent in Australia’s economy, with economists estimating it to slow growth to below 2 percent in the year’s first quarter.
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