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Tropical cyclone approaching WA

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A tropical cyclone brewing southwest of Timor is expected to intensify as it descends on WA over the next 24 hours.

Tropical Cyclone Seroja will begin tracking southwest, moving towards Australia through waters roughly parallel to the WA coast, today, with experts warning it could approach the West Pilbara Region later in the week.

The tropical low developed into Tropical Cyclone Seroja — meaning lotus flower — in Indonesian waters yesterday and was named last night.


Flash floods unleashed by torrential rains brought on by the weather system have already killed 41 people on Indonesia’s island of Flores and three in neighbouring Timor-Leste, with more reported missing.

The death toll is expected to rise as residents brace for more rain, waves and winds brought on by the Tropical Cyclone Seroja as it continues to build.

The Bureau of Meteorology says the Category One system could strengthen into a Category Three by Thursday morning, bringing with it fierce winds of 75km/h near the centre, with gusts to 100km/h, as it intensifies on its journey towards WA.

Slow moving, the storm is expected to remain far enough offshore to not directly impact the WA mainland and Australian communities until at least the middle of the week.

Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre’s Peter Klegg said there was a risk the system could approach the west Pilbara coast after that, but stressed that would only become a concern from Thursday.

“At that point we’ve got another system brewing up near Christmas Island as well so there could be some interaction with that system, which leads to a pretty big area of uncertainty,” he told 6PR this morning.

That tropical low, to the south of the Indian Ocean territory, is likely to move slowly south-east.

There is currently a moderate chance it could develop into a tropical cyclone from tomorrow, however, it is forecast to remain far enough south to have no direct impact on Christmas Island if it does develop.

Residents on the island are being urged to batten down, with rainfall and thunderstorms likely to continue during the week.

People living in the north of WA should keep up-to-date with the latest BoM forecasts and warnings.

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