Two massive cyclones smashed into northern Australia Friday, in a "first" for the country, the weather bureau said.

The Bureau of Meteorology says this is the first time two severe tropical cyclones have crossed Australia within 24 hours.

Cyclone Lam hit a sparsely-populated stretch of the Northern Territory, followed a few hours later by the more powerful Cyclone Marcia, which crossed over small towns along the east coast of Queensland state with wind gusts up to 285 kilometers per hour.

Queensland state Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk warned residents Thursday to get ready for a "harrowing and terrifying experience" as Cyclone Marcia pounds the area.

Palaszczuk warned, "This is a severe cyclone. We want everyone to take all the precautions that they possibly can take."

Forecasters say Cyclone Marcia is a category five storm, the most dangerous, while Typhoon Lam rates a category four.

Cyclones Smash Australia