Cyclone takes aim at western coast: Australia braces for another flooding catastrophe


January 28, 2011PERTH – “Western Australia’s southwest, including Perth, is on cyclone watch with residents warned to brace for high winds, bushfires, coastal storm surges and localised flash flooding. Category three tropical cyclone Bianca was at sea off the state’s northwest coast on Friday but is expected to cross the southwest coast early on Sunday as a category one system, the Bureau of Meteorology says. A cyclone watch is in place for the area between Jurien Bay, north of Perth, and Albany on the south coast. The bureau’s regional director Mike Bergin said communities in the area, where tropical cyclones rarely hit, should prepare for something like a severe winter storm but with much warmer winds. He said Bianca would bring strong winds, including gusts up to 120km/h, as well as rough seas, inundations of low-lying coastal areas and beach erosion. Very heavy rainfalls and extensive flooding was not expected, but there could be localised flash flooding in some areas, Mr Bergin said. The warmer winds brought by the tropical cyclone would bring a heightened bushfire danger for the southwest, he said. Bianca was moving fast across the Indian Ocean at about 35km/h and posed a high risk, Mr Bergin said.”  –
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