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    Post Yasi, Oz braces for another cyclone

    Melbourne: As Queensland government grapples with the billion dollar bill for recovery from recent natural disasters, the state has been put on alert that yet another major cyclone may be on the way.

    The category 1 tropical cyclone Dianne was about 385 km northwest of Exmouth early on Thursday and was expected to take a more southerly track during the day.

    The Bureau of Meteorology said if Dianne moves closer to the coast, gales with gusts up to 100 km per hour may develop in coastal areas between Exmouth and Cape Cuvier later on Thursday or Friday.

    In Darwin, residents escaped cyclone Carlos as the category one system moved inland and weakened overnight 70 kilometres south-east of the city.

    Carlos, which packed winds of more than 100 km per hr and dumped more than 400 millimetres of rain across the Top End, remains unpredictable, forecasters say.

    Darwin residents awoke this morning to a city with hundreds of fallen trees and flooded areas.

    In Victoria, wild weather continue to hit the several parts with more rain and possible flash flooding for the second day.

    Weather bureau forecaster Stephen King said gathering clouds, rising temperatures and the already moist air are expected to develop into thunderstorms anytime from 2 PM (local time).

    The bureau remains on alert to issue warnings with the possibility of flash floods.

    Meanwhile, Queensland's treasurer Andrew Fraser said rebuilding infrastructure and supporting Queensland's recovery from recent floods and cyclone Yasi will cost $5.8 billion, according to Australian Associated Press report.

    "The total now (from the floods and Yasi) is $5.8 billion in terms of the impact on rebuilding infrastructure and supporting the recovery," he said.

    "So this is a big bill and it's one that we need to make sure is the priority not only in this budget, but I expect in years to come," he added.

    Fraser said that under natural disaster arrangements, the federal government would shoulder 75 per cent of the $5.8 billion, leaving the state government to find just under $1.5 billion.

    Fraser said the damage bill from Cyclone Yasi alone was about $800 million - about double the combined bill from cyclones Larry and Monica, which hit the state's north in 2006.