About 700 people were stranded in far northern Australia Tuesday after a tropical cyclone barrelled through their remote community, cutting off links with the rest of the country.

The Australian Defence Force tried to evacuate residents of the small Northern Territory community of Borroloola, but attempts to land aircraft Monday were hampered by wild weather.

Residents were urged to find shelter in the community as the cyclone hit on Monday afternoon.

The Category 3 storm pummelled the area with heavy rainfall and intense winds of around 170-200 kilometres (100-125 miles) per hour, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

"Poor weather prevented evacuations yesterday, but we expect new deployment will occur today," said Emergency Minister Murray Watt.

Ex-tropical cyclone Megan has now been downgraded to a tropical low as winds have eased, but heavy rains continue as the storm system moves inland.