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Twin Storms Menace Western Australia’s Coast Through Weekend

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Tropical Cyclone Seroja will likely make landfall in Western Australia late Sunday as a second storm, ex-cyclone Odette, rakes coastal areas with high winds while remaining off shore.

The twin systems are pivoting around each other, with Odette weakening but nearing the coast on Saturday.

Seroja may peak briefly as a category 3 storm on Australia’s scale but should weaken to category 2 when it comes ashore between Kalbarri and Geraldton overnight April 11-12, Jenny Sturrock, a meteorologist with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, said in a briefing.

Cyclones belong to the class of storm that includes typhoons and hurricanes.

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Seroja is forecast to bring destructive winds of 150 kilometers (93 miles) per hour to the coast, while higher than normal tides and heavy rains will cause flooding.

Geraldton is a significant seaport for Australia’s mining, grain and livestock industries.

While Seroja’s expected to track well north of the Perth — Geraldton is about 420 kilometers (261 miles) from the capital — the city is likely to experience high winds and heavy rain starting Sunday.

“Now is the time to prepare,” Sturrock said. “A category 2 system features winds strong enough to damage homes, blow over trees, and make conditions dangerous to be outside.”

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Australia’s cyclone season runs from November to April, with storms striking both its Pacific and Indian Ocean coastlines. Two cyclones hit earlier, while a third neared the coast of Queensland before drifting away. In addition, several tropical lows also struck various parts of the country.

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