Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has reported the occurrence of 100 Kilometres per hour (62 miles per hour) winds along the Pilbara Coast as Tropical Cyclone Glenda closes in.

At 8 p.m. WST Wednesday (1200 UTC), the Bureau of Meteorology reported that Glenda had weakened and reclassified it as a category 4 storm. The Bureau of Meteorology expects Glenda will cross the coast between Exmouth and Karratha tonight.

The Bureau of Meteorology predicts gale force winds gusting up to 130 kilometres per hour (80 miles per hour) to develop in the affected region during the day. They predict that later, as the cyclone nears the coast that winds up to 250 kilometres an hour (155 miles per hour) will occur near the cyclone centre.

The bureau also warns of the possibility of a dangerous storm surge between Karatha and Onslow as the cyclone crosses the coast.They warn that tides are likely to rise above the normal high tide make causing flooding and damaging waves.

The Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia has placed residents in Karratha, Roebourne, Point Samson, Wickham, Dampier and Mardie on red alert. Residents are advised to:

  • Go to a welfare centre immediately if they are not already in a safe location
  • Park vehicles in a sheltered area
  • Stay in the strongest part of the building they are in, away from windows
  • Ensure pets and animals are safely sheltered
  • Disconnect electrical appliances and turn off gas valves
  • Ensure that neighbours have received the warning
  • Stay indoors until given an “All Clear with Caution” alert from emergency services

FESA has issued a blue alert for people between De Grey and Whim Creek including Port Hedland, South Hedland, Pannawonica, Onslow and Exmouth. A blue alert means that residents should begin taking precautions and making preparations for a possible red alert condition.