Cyclone Seroja wreaks havoc along Western Australia coast | News | DW | 12.04.2021
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Cyclone Seroja wreaks havoc along Western Australia coast

After leaving a trail of destruction in Indonesia and East Timor, Western Australia was next on the tropical storm’s path. It left major damage.

Satellite image released by NASA shows Tropical Cyclone Seroja hitting the coast of Western Australia.

Wind gusts were the strongest in 50 years for some areas

Tropical Cyclone Seroja hit the Western Australia state coast with winds gusting up to 170 kph (105 mph) overnight, officials said on Monday.

The tourist town of Kalbarri was especially hard-hit by the storm. Powerlines and trees were toppled, homes lost roofs and streets were strewn with debris.

"Some of the older buildings didn't stand up very well. But even some of the modern buildings, they just couldn't hold it," said local State Emergency Service manager Steve Cable. There were no reports of serious injuries.

Prime minister Scott Morrison said the Commonwealth disaster response plan had been activated and his government stood ready to provide assistance.

A storm like few others before

Such powerful cyclones are rare in subtropical Australia.

The Bureau of Meterology said in a statement that the wind gusts recorded in Kalbarri and nearby areas were likely to have been the "strongest in more than 50 years."

The last comparable cyclone in the region struck in 1956. It brought 140 kph gusts to the port town of Geraldton, 160 kilometers (100 miles) south of Kalbarri, where there was no weather station at the time.

Watch video 01:41

Flash floods in Indonesia and East Timor

Path of destruction

The fast-moving storm later weakened to a category two system as it pushed inland in the early hours of Monday.

Seroja had caused flooding and landslides that killed at least 174 people and left 48 missing in Indonesia and East Timor last week.


 mna/aw (AP, AFP)