WA evacuations ordered as cyclones loom

File image. Supplied.

Strong to gale force winds are expected in parts of Western Australia, as two tropical cyclones hover near the state’s coast.

People on islands or at sea off parts of Western Australia’s northwest coast have been ordered to evacuate, as two tropical cyclones bear down.

Emergency services late on Friday told residents in the Exmouth Gulf coast and parts of the Gascoyne Coast to prepare for severe weather expected to arrive on Saturday afternoon and evening.

Tropical Cyclone Odette is expected to approach the far northwest of WA on Saturday, with a brief period of strong to gale force winds possible during the afternoon.

Tropical Cyclone Seroja is expected to make landfall late on Sunday or early Monday between Carnarvon and Jurien Bay.

Anyone on an island between Coral Bay and Geraldton, including the Abrolhos Islands, must evacuate by midday, the Department of Fire and Emergency services ordered on Saturday morning.

Anyone at sea must leave by 6pm.

If evacuating isn’t an option they must take shelter or seek safe haven or anchorage. 

Authorities on Friday night also issued a blue alert for people south of Coral Bay to Geraldton, not including Coral Bay but including Geraldton, to prepare for dangerous weather as Seroja approaches. 

Further north, Coral Bay, Exmouth and the North West Cape have also been warned to prepare for severe weather.

Acting DFES commissioner Craig Waters said there were numerous holiday-makers in the impact areas, many of whom would not have experienced a cyclone before.

“Recent rainfall and flooding has already battered the northern half of WA during the current cyclone season,” he said on Friday.

“If you’re in a tent or caravan, you are simply not protected against the damaging winds that may hit the region.”

Mr Waters said some roads in the area are still undergoing maintenance to repair damage from recent flooding, and further damage could make roads unpassable for days, or longer.

Australian Associated Press

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