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Lightning strike leaves Queensland girl, 10, fighting for life

While El Nino events are associated with dryer weather, large parts of Australia experienced heavy rains and storms in December.

While El Nino events are associated with dryer weather, large parts of Australia experienced heavy rains and storms in December. Photo: AAP

A 10-year-old girl is in critical condition after being struck by lightning as Queensland endures extreme weather events after Cyclone Jasper lashed the state’s north.

The girl, whose name has not been released, was struck in Beerwah,  on the Sunshine Coast, at 2.30pm on Saturday amid severe thunderstorms.

She was taken to Sunshine Coast University Hospital and then flown to Queensland Children’s Hospital where she is fighting for life, Queensland Police confirmed.

Jasper has now reached the waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria as a low after dumping as much as a metre of rain on parts of the state over a four-day period.

As of Sunday morning, major flood warnings were current for far north Queensland including Daintree River, Herbert River, Johnstone River Catchment and Mulgrave River.

Over the Gulf

The category 2 system hit the coast north of Cairns on Wednesday night before weakening to a tropical low.

It hovered over far north Queensland including the Cape York Peninsula on Saturday, dropping more rain on already sodden regions.

The system is slowly moving west, with a chance Jasper may redevelop into a cyclone from Wednesday as it moves north and gathers strength over the warm water of the Gulf.

“It’s likely to meander around the Gulf as a tropical low pressure system,” said Angus Hines from the Bureau of Meteorology.

“We have a moderate chance that Jasper will turn back into a cyclone through Wednesday until Friday.”

Northern Territory next?

Jasper could then impact the top end of the Northern Territory, or double back and hit far north Queensland again.

Emergency services are pleading with people to take care in the wet weather and to prepare their properties, with the SES reporting it has responded to hundreds of requests for help.

Ex-Cyclone Jasper flooding Cairns

Residents in flooded far north Queensland are bracing for more rain from the ex-tropical cyclone. (Joshua Prieto/AAP PHOTOS)

A 30-year-old man was killed on Friday evening in the Brisbane suburb of Murarrie as severe thunderstorms rolled across the state’s southeast.

Police said the unconscious man was found lying near fallen powerlines on Murarrie Road with life-threatening injuries and he died a short time later. It was confirmed on Saturday the man was electrocuted.

-with AAP

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