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06 Feb 2020 | 03:39 PM UTC

Australia: Tropical Cyclone Damien to impact Pilbara coast February 7-8

Weather officials forecast Tropical Cyclone Damien to impact Pilbara coast from February 7-8; strong wind, heavy rain, flooding, and associated disruptions expected

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AUS

Event

Australia's Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) issued an advisory at 02:57 (local time) on Friday, February 7, forecasting Tropical Cyclone Damien will impact Pilbara from Friday evening through Saturday, February 9. Gales are expected to develop along the Pilbara coast between Pardoo Roadhouse and Mardie from Friday afternoon or evening and extending into Saturday. The BoM warns that heavy rain is likely to cause flooding in Pilbara and Gascoyne as the cyclone moves inland over the weekend.

As of 02:57 on Friday, Tropical Cyclone Damien is a Category 1 cyclone located at approximately 17.6°S, 117.8°E (map here) with sustained winds near the center of 85 kph (53 mph) and wind gusts up to 120 kph (74 mph). The BoM confirmed that Damien is moving west-southwest at 19 kph (12 mph) and is forecast to intensify before turning south toward the Pilbara coast on Friday.

Associated flooding, landslides, transportation and business disruptions are anticipated, as well as disruptions to power and communication services, in the coming hours and days.

Advice

Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, avoid areas directly affected by flooding, confirm road conditions before setting out, avoid sea travel, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities. Avoid walking or driving through floodwaters; 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult.