Australia's western part was lashed by heavy rainfall and destructive winds on February 8 as a tropical cyclone approached its coast, as per reports. Much of the bushfire-battered east coast faced flood warnings due to incessant rains. Damien, a severe tropical cyclone was expected to make landfall on the west coast near Port Hedland, which is the world's largest iron ore port, on Saturday afternoon.
All operations at ports in the region were suspended. Damien was a Category 3 storm with sustained winds of 150 kilometres per hour and gusts upto 205 kph at 10 am (0200 GMT), according to the Bureau of Meteorology in Western Australia.
It's not just Severe Tropical #CycloneDamien keeping us busy today as there are also severe fire weather warnings out for the #Gascoyne and #SWLD. Stay up to date with all warnings here; https://t.co/Mkr0xC2DO6 @dfes_wa pic.twitter.com/aWkn2iQkJX— Bureau of Meteorology, Western Australia (@BOM_WA) February 7, 2020
The residents of coastal areas were advised to stay indoors and seek shelter. The met agency alerted on Twitter that destructive winds, very heavy rainfall and storm surge are expected as Damien crosses the coast near Dampier early this afternoon.
Incessant rains raised hopes on February 7 for an end to Australia's ravaging bushfire crisis as rains douse blazes that have burned out of control for months.
Severe Weather Update: severe tropical cyclone Damien off WA coast.— Bureau of Meteorology, Australia (@BOM_au) February 7, 2020
Video is current at 12 pm AWST 7 February 2020.
For the latest weather and warnings, information visit https://t.co/qlzYU0jRuR and follow advice from emergency services. pic.twitter.com/hXQcLUUG8t
The devastating bushfires triggered prolonged drought-like conditions and record-high temperatures, that have raged since September burning more than 10 million hectares and killing 33 people. The unprecedented rains in New South Wales began earlier in the week in some areas and there are chances it could continue till next week and may douse a number of the remaining fires and help contain others.
(With Agency Inputs)