Cyclone ‘threat to lives and homes’ in WA
RESIDENTS are evacuating and taking shelter as tropical Cyclone Seroja threatens lives and homes along Western Australia’s mid west coast.
A red alert calling for a 300km-stretch of coastline between Kalbarri and Carnarvon was raised by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services on Sunday.
The ‘category two’ storm is packing destructive winds of up to 150km/h and could further intensify before it crosses the coast, due later on Sunday.
“There is a threat to lives and homes. You are in danger and need to act immediately,” the agency said in a statement.
Residents of Denham and Kalbarri are likely to experience gales and destructive winds and if Seroja tracks south, Geraldton may also be impacted.
Abnormally high tides, heavy to intense rainfall, flash flooding, dangerous surf and beach erosion are among the possibilities.
Shark Bay Shire executive manager of community development Debbie Wilkes said low-lying areas of Denham, a coastal town in the path of Seroja, have battened down the hatches.
“The town has been secured, the evacuation centre has been opened and we’re currently on red alert,” she told AAP.
The tiny Dirk Hartog Island Eco Lodge is set to face the brunt of the storm with phone lines already knocked out.
Operations manager Casey Hill is staying to look after the facility and she expects to lose power.
“We’ve locked all the doors at Sunday Island Bay house and turned the radio on,” she told AAP via email.
“Wind is starting to pick up now and we’re likely to lose all communication and power.”