News State NT News Cyclone Alessia approaches Darwin

Cyclone Alessia approaches Darwin

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·Australian weather myths tested

The message is clear: give cyclone Alessia the respect it deserves, the Northern Territory’s police commissioner says.

The category one tropical cyclone is located about 250km west-southwest of Darwin and steadily heading east. It is expected to hit the city about 9pm on Sunday.

Gales with speeds of up to 90km/h are expected to lash the area for about six hours until early morning on Monday, the Bureau of Meteorology says.

About 50-100mm of rain is expected, with a one- to two-metre storm surge which should not cause any coastal flooding as the tide is low.

But there may be downed trees and power lines to contend with on Monday, forecaster Todd Smith told reporters in Darwin.

“We’re certainly not expecting winds to be of a destructive nature,” he said.

It will be business as usual on Monday morning, with schools open and the public service running, Chief Minister Adam Giles said.

The airport and port are currently still operating and public shelters are not yet open.

But it was important to take the category one cyclone seriously, Police Commissioner John McRoberts said.

“It is an adverse, inclement weather system, and by paying it the appropriate respect we will avoid having any regrets,” he said.

“Complacency can often be your worst enemy in these types of events.”