Travellers north of Western Australia have been urged to find safe shelter as a dangerous tropical cyclone is forecast in the Pilbara and Kimberley areas. The tropical low is set to intensify and grow into a category two cyclone dubbed Lucas, starting this Friday afternoon.
It’s predicted that the system will affect a wide area spanning Beagle Bay to Whim Creek and south of Port Hedland, Broome’s northern parts before extending inland to hit Telfer situated East of Pilbara.
Heavy showers and damaging wind gusts moving at speeds of up to 140km/h are expected to develop later on Friday or early Saturday as the system approaches the coast.
Areas lying between Port Hedland and Broome—a popular tourist spot are facing the highest risk of gales, according to Thursday’s reports from the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES).
Holiday makers travelling or camping in caravans have been urged to find safer accommodation or leave the areas under alert the soonest possible.
“A cyclone is not a place you would want to be in a caravan or camping,” DFES assistant commissioner Paul Ryan said.
“It’s probably going to take you a couple of days but we need to start planning and moving now.”
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) predicted a possible category three cyclone which the Bureau has since downgraded in its latest forecast.
Port Hedland is set to experience a significant swell, despite being home to the world’s biggest bulk export terminal housing iron ore miners as some of the major users.
The Pilbara Ports Authority has directed all the large vessels to clear the terminal overnight as BOM predicts the cyclone’s arrival.
People within the warning area are being encouraged to assess and secure their properties by fastening loose outdoor items, tying down caravans or boats and preparing a survival plan and kit that should include a torch, radio, food, water, mobile phone charger, dry cells and prescribed medication.
Lucas is poised to be the first tropical cyclone to batter the West Australian coast during this season.
“We’re expecting the rainfall … will be concentrated around the cell. It won’t be widespread flooding to the area,” Mr Ryan stated.
“We do have some at-risk areas that we have identified and we’re planning towards what we need to do to respond accordingly.”
More emergency crews are likely to be deployed from Perth to Western Australia’s northern areas on Friday but this is depended on how severe the impact of the tropical cyclone will be.
Storm Assist has learnt that another tropical cyclone has forecast in the remote areas of Cocos Keeling Islands situated about 900km away from Christmas Island, in the near future.
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