Towns around the southeast Queensland city of Bundaberg could spend up to two days without power after five tornadoes wreaked havoc in the area on Australia Day.

Burnett Heads and nearby Bargara were declared disaster areas after twisters ripped through the coastal townships from 1pm AEST on Saturday, injuring a total of 17 people and damaging more than 150 homes.

Two people were critically injured when a giant pine tree fell on their parked car on the Esplanade at Bargara, while two homes were completely destroyed in the mini-cyclone that struck Burnett Heads.

Authorities said Burnett Heads was again struck by the latest in the series of twisters, which hit the area at 6pm AEST and 6.30pm.

Two people were believed to have been injured in the second onslaught, with powerlines down and at least one roof torn from a home.

And the Bureau of Meteorology says the worst may be yet to come.

It has forecast the "strong possibility" of further tornado activity around Burnett Heads, Wide Bay and at Maryborough, south of Bundaberg.

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman said powerlines were down in Burnett Heads and several buildings had lost their roofs.

Emergency services said the Bargara and Burnett Heads twisters had cut a "swathe of damage".

Power companies said it could take up to two days to restore electricity to the towns that were hit.

Bargara resident Judith McNamara, who witnessed the tornado through her kitchen window, said it left a car in her yard with a tree through it.

"All of a sudden ... I looked up and a tree went flying through the air ... and the car went up," she told ABC radio.

At least 15 other people were treated for minor injuries after being hit by flying glass and other debris in violent storm gusts.

A triage centre was set up outside a church at Bargara to treat the injured, while an evacuation centre was opened at Bundaberg, about 15km away.

Queensland Emergency Services Minister Jack Dempsey, who lives in Bundaberg, said a number of small towns and suburbs in the district had been hit by the mini-tornadoes.

"We are still trying to assess the extent of the damage," he said.

The third twister badly damaged a home when it hit the coastal town of Coonarr, about 20km south of Bundaberg, around 4.30pm (AEST).

As of 7.30pm AEST, residents in Bundaberg were being warned by Queensland police to stay indoors and shelter well clear of windows, doors and skylights as fierce storms continued to rage outside.

Meanwhile, residents in the small community of Winfield, north of Bundaberg, were issued an emergency notice and told to head to higher ground, with flooding imminent.

The State Emergency Service was warning that nearby Baffle Creek was expected to rise above record levels set in 1971.

Bundaberg district disaster co-ordinator superintendent Rowan Bond said the rain at Winfield was "unprecedented".

"Baffle Creek is higher than virtually anyone can remember," he told ABC TV.

Ergon Energy has warned Bundaberg, Bargara and Burnett Heads could be without power for up to 48 hours.

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