Powerful cyclone threatens Australia

2013-12-30 10:16
(File: AFP)

(File: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - A powerful cyclone packing expected winds of more than 200km/h was threatening Australia's west coast on Monday, forcing towns into lockdown and shutting iron ore operations.

A red alert was issued for Port Hedland and South Hedland on Western Australia’s resource-rich but sparsely-populated Pilbara coast as the category three cyclone intensified offshore, forcing residents to batten down.

"This is a powerful system," Neil Bennett, a spokesperson for the Cyclone Warning Centre in Perth told AFP, saying that winds were already building around Port Hedland to about 70km/h.

"Right around the eye [of the storm] we could see gusts of 200km/h or more."

Cyclone Christine is set to make landfall between Karratha and Port Hedland at about midnight on Monday and authorities are warning of damaging storm surges, particularly if it hits at high tide.

"Rapid and powerful flooding is likely as severe tropical Cyclone Christine approached the coast," the western Australian department of fire and emergency services said in an alert.

Expecting the worst

"Tides may rise significantly above the normal high tide mark with damaging waves and very dangerous coastal inundation."

Residents under the red alert are already seeking shelter, and have been ordered to remain indoors and shut off gas, water and electricity.

"It's looking very ominous, certainly it's been very grey, we have been experiencing an increase in winds, we have been getting some strong gusts and we have been getting a little bit of rain," Port Hedland mayor Kelly Howlett told the ABC.

"We know we are expecting more and I guess that's what we are all bracing for and being prepared for."

Global miner BHP Billiton said its port and rail operations in Port Hedland had been suspended, with tie-down activities completed.

- Are you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

Read more on:    australia  |  natural disasters

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.