A powerful category three cyclone crashed into northeastern Australia late on Thursday, leaving tens of thousands of homes without power.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Kirrily packed winds of more than 160 kilometres (100 miles) per hour as it hit Townsville, home to 180,000 people, before rapidly weakening.

Emergency services said that despite high winds, the storm caused no fatalities and minimal damage.

But about 64,000 homes were said to be without power and residents were advised to boil water to ensure it was safe to drink.

Just weeks ago, Tropical Cyclone Jasper hit Australia's far northeast, flooding major highways and uprooting trees.