News State Western Australia News Cyclone Christine smashes Pilbara coast

Cyclone Christine smashes Pilbara coast

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Tropical cyclone Christine is battering the Pilbara coast, forcing people to take shelter as it brings strong winds, heavy rain and dangerous storm tides.

The Category 3 storm crossed the coast between Whim Creek and Roebourne overnight, with wind gusts of 200km/h expected near its centre.

The Bureau of Meteorology said at 1am (WST) Christine was estimated to be 150km west southwest of Port Hedland and 50km east southeast of Karratha and moving southwest at 16km/h.

Gales with gusts to 120km/h are occurring between De Grey and Mardie and will extend to the inland Pilbara.People on the coast between De Grey and Wickham including Port Hedland are warned of the potential for a very dangerous storm tide.

It’s expected to take a more southerly track during the early hours of Tuesday.

Residents in the affected areas of the Pilbara have been told to take shelter while the storm moves over.

A red alert is in place for people in or near the coastal areas between De Grey and Mardie and extending inland to Tom Price and Paraburdoo.

This includes Port Hedland, South Hedland, Whim Creek, Roebourne, Point Samson, Wickham, Karratha and Dampier.

“There is a threat to lives and homes,” DFES said in a statement on Tuesday. “You are in danger and need to act immediately.”

It urged residents in affected areas to “get ready to move to the strongest, safest part of your house”.

Widespread heavy rainfall is expected near the cyclone track and flood warnings have been issued for the Pilbara.

Destructive winds with gusts in excess of 135km/h are battering the Karratha area and are expected to extend well inland during Tuesday.

People in Tom Price can expect destructive wind gusts to start around 8am (WST).

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