Alert as Australia braces for cyclone

2012-03-17 07:28

Sydney - A tropical cyclone bearing down on Western Australia intensified on Saturday, placing the region on high alert as the storm threatened to bring destructive gale-force winds.

Severe tropical cyclone Lua, upgraded to a Category 4 storm - five is the highest - is moving steadily toward the coast and is expected to make landfall on Saturday afternoon.

"There is a threat to lives and homes. You are in danger and need to act immediately," Western Australian emergency officials said in a warning to residents in the sparsely populated Pilbara region.

The small communities of Pardoo and Wallal are believed to be in the line of the cyclone and residents of those areas have been warned to seek shelter immediately.

"Destructive winds to 160km/h are possible between Port Hedland and Bidyadanga extending to the inland eastern Pilbara later in the day," the Bureau of Meteorology said in a warning.

"Very destructive winds up to 230km/h are forecast near the cyclone centre."

Commercial flights into the area have been cancelled and the main highway closed, while the Port Hedland port has been shut down.

Western Australia's Pilbara region is an important resources hub, with major iron ore and gas facilities.

  • Jamie - 2012-03-17 07:44

    The report goes along fine, with "winds to 160km/h are possible", then the wheels come off with "winds up to 230km/h are forecast near the cyclone centre". Firstly if it's headed towards these areas, they are going to experience the maximum wind, not one 30% less, and secondly, when is there the maximum windspeed near the centre of a cyclone ?

      Shaun Robinson - 2012-03-17 07:58

      Idiot, you probably did not study Geography...

      Glyn - 2012-03-17 08:27

      1/ The max wind speed in a cyclone/hurricane/typhoon is near the centre, not at the centre! 2/ The 160kn/h winds are forecast between Port Hedland and Bidyadanga, the centre of the cyclone may not be in that position, so what is the problem? A couple of years ago I was anchored off Port Headland and the forecasts were very good, the centre passed crossed the coast east of Port Hedland and travelled all the way to NSW, dropping a huge amount of rain on the way. I got my ship 150' offshore and returned to Port Hedland a day later without problem. I suggest that you should read the actual wx forecast, not a News24 snippet before nit-picking.

      Xavier7034 - 2012-03-17 08:31

      @Shaun.....when you know something, there is no need to belittle @Jamie by calling him an idiot......rather teach him what is correct, and BOTH of you will have gained from that: The primary flow is circular around the vertical axis of the tornado. As with all vortex flow, the speed of the flow is fastest at the core of the vortex. In accordance with Bernoulli's principle where the wind speed is fastest the air pressure is lowest; and where the wind speed is slowest the air pressure is highest. Consequently, near the center of the tornado the air pressure is low. There is a pressure gradient toward the center of the vortex. This gradient, coupled with the slower speed of the air near the earth’s surface, causes a secondary flow toward the center of the tornado or dust devil, rather than in a purely circular pattern. Quad Erat Demonstratum..... :-)

  • joy.skene - 2012-03-17 08:58

    As long as it stays away from the F1 GP in Melbourne!

  • Nkululeko - 2012-03-18 13:23

    The radio telescopes seem will be constantly under water there.Sorry but I don't see Ausie winning SKA bid at this stage.

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