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Ex-cyclone Seth still threatens east coast

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Ex-tropical cyclone Seth, which is now a tropical low, is continuing to cause havoc off Australia’s east coast and impacting Queensland and NSW.

Huge swells have been reported off Queensland and authorities are warning the downgraded system is still generating dangerous conditions.

State Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said conditions in the Coral Sea were expected to worsen as tide levels surge.

“The system is generating increasing seas and swells, which will coincide with an astronomical peak in high tides over the next couple of days,” Commissioner Carroll said on Monday.

“It is a severe weather system with abnormally high tides and also powerful and dangerous surf.”

Swimmers have been told to stay out of the water and popular beaches in Queensland have been closed, but not everyone is heeding the warning.

“The number of people in the water was extraordinary with surf lifesavers constantly driving up and down the beaches to tell people to get out,” Commissioner Carroll said.

“Immediately, the second they drive past, people get back into the water.

“Listen to authorities … when they say the beaches are shut, they are shut.

“They’re not only putting themselves in danger but other emergency services, as well as surf lifesavers.”

The Bureau of Meteorology was on Sunday warning of heavy rain across the Queensland and NSW coastlines later in the week when what remains of Seth is expected to cross the coast — either on Thursday or Friday.

NSW is also on high alert for strong winds, high tides, and coastal erosion in the Northern Rivers region and other parts of the state’s Mid North Coast.

NSW SES Superintendent Mark Elm said volunteers from across the northern coastal areas were keeping a close eye on the situation.

“The NSW SES volunteers are checking equipment and readying teams for support if needed,” Superintendent Elm said.

The bureau will give another update on the situation later on Monday.

– AAP

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