Monday, March 27, 2006

Towns and communities in north Western Australia are preparing for the sixth cyclone of the season. The Bureau of Meteorology says a cyclone warning is current for a category 3 cyclone for coastal and island areas between Cape Leveque and Bidyadanga. A cyclone watch extends south to Dampier. The cyclone is expected to move roughly parallel to the coast in the next few days and intensify further.

In Port Hedland, residents were urged to prepare for Glenda, which today was a category 1 storm off the Kimberley coastline, to the north. Dampier Port supports the offshore oil and gas industry from North West Cape to Broome and offshore, the largest oil and gas export area in Australia.

Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia (FESA) district manager Gordon Tiddums advises residents to closely monitor the cyclone’s path and take to take precautions such as cleaning up loose material and rubbish and getting emergency supplies.

Widespread heavy rain is expected to continue during the next few days in the north and east Kimberley. Recent tropical storms have dumped 560 millimetres in the Wyndham area over the past few days. Around 30 elderly people and young children have been evacuated from the Oombulgurri Aboriginal community, 80 kilometres west of Wyndham.

The weather bureau says that Cyclone Floyd continues to weaken as it heads towards the WA coast. Cyclone Floyd has been downgraded to a category one system. The bureau says gales may develop during the day as the cyclone nears the coast and the system is still causing winds of more than 100 kilometres an hour.

Category Four Cyclone Floyd caused wind gusts of up to 280km an hour did not threaten the coast or the state’s massive resources industry.