Appeal for cyclone vigilance
Pilbara residents are being urged to put complacency aside as the region gears up for what is predicted to be an average wet season.
The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast about five cyclones will form off the North West coast during the 2017-18 wet season, two of which are predicted to make landfall.
BoM WA acting State manager Grahame Reader said cyclones were not the only weather-related danger present between November and April.
“Although the number of tropical cyclones off North West WA last season was about average. . . there were also numerous tropical lows which produced widespread flooding and squally winds across northern WA,” he said.
“Weather hazards associated with cyclones can include storm surge flooding, destructive winds, inland flooding from heavy rainfall and high seas and swells.
“Tropical lows can also produce heavy rainfall, inland flooding and squally winds.”
Mr Reader said the number of tropical cyclones forecast was not a good indicator of the potential threat to communities.
Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm said the loss of lives last wet season should not be forgotten.
“Complacency can lead to destruction that is not only distressing and expensive, it can sadly be deadly,” he said.
Mr Klemm said residents in the North West should start securing outdoor items such as boats or trailers, and prepare an emergency kit now, instead of waiting until it was too late.
The 2016-17 wet season broke a half-decade run of underwhelming rainfall figures across much of the Pilbara, though the North West Cape missed out on a deluge.