Residents of a West Australian holiday town remain “shell-shocked” after Cyclone Seroja carved a trail of destruction through the area.
About 70 per cent of Kalbarri’s buildings were damaged when the cyclone slammed into WA’s Mid West coast on Sunday night.
Northampton, to Kalbarri’s south-east, also bore the brunt of the cyclone.
The manager of Kalbarri’s State Emergency Service, Steve Cable, described the storm as frightening and extremely intense.
He said many locals had been left feeling anxious.
“So now it’s just clean-up. It’s all about people,” he said.
“There’s people who are shell-shocked, people who have lost their homes.
“People … who have got no communications, no radio, no television, no mobile phones so people can’t even contact their loved ones, so there’s a lot of anxiety.”
Kalbarri is a popular holiday destination about 700 kilometres north of Perth.
Telecommunications issues ongoing
DFES Deputy Commissioner Craig Waters said emergency services were working to restore power supplies to the almost 30,000 properties still left without power.
Most of those are in Kalbarri, Northampton and northern Geraldton.
“Our main priority in the next couple days is the restoration of critical electrical infrastructure and power supplies back in the affected area,” Deputy Commissioner Waters said.
“Telecommunications has been a significant issue from the onset.
“We’ve had issues talking with our incident management teams onsite and obviously the community in trying to get in contact with friends and loved ones also to relay information to them.
“We managed to get an NBN Sky Muster vehicle up there which has improved significantly the communications.”
Damage assessments continue
“Our rapid damage assessment teams have continued to do assessments of all the buildings,” Deputy Commissioner Waters said.
DFES says Cyclone Seroja clean up in Kalbarri will be time consuming
“We’ve done about three-quarters of the buildings in Kalbarri and Northampton at this stage, but there’s still a lot of work to do.”
He said extra emergency crews from New South Wales and Victoria have also started arriving in WA to help with the massive recovery effort.