Lancelin township on blue alert due to tropical cyclone

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Lancelin has gone on red alert due to tropical cyclone Seroja, which is expected to cross the coast as a category 2 system this evening. File picture

A BLUE alert is current for people south of Coral Bay to Lancelin, not including the township of Coral Bay, but including the township of Lancelin, due to tropical cyclone Seroja.

Although there is no immediate danger you need to start preparing for dangerous weather and keep up to date.

The Bureau of Meteorology has advised gales with gusts to 100km/h are likely to develop in an area between Coral Bay and Kalbarri during Sunday afternoon and extend further south towards Lancelin and inland into the Gascoyne and northern Wheatbelt later Sunday and then further inland to the southern Goldfields during Monday.

Destructive winds with gusts to 150km/h are forecast to occur closer to the centre of Seroja as it moves across the coast and into adjacent inland parts.

The most likely area to experience destructive wind gusts is on the coast between Geraldton and Denham.

Seroja will be moving fast, so weather conditions will deteriorate rapidly as it approaches.

Heavy to intense rainfall and flash flooding are likely close to the track of Seroja during Sunday and Monday.

Abnormally high tides could cause minor inundation at the coast between Coral Bay and Lancelin, increasing to serious flooding in the Denham and Shark Bay region and possibly near Kalbarri.

People near Coral Bay to Lancelin, not including Coral Bay, but including Lancelin need to prepare for cyclonic weather and organise an emergency kit including first aid kit, torch, portable radio, spare batteries, food and water.

The Bureau of Meteorology says there are two active systems. Graphic: Bureau of Meteorology

 The alert below was issued by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) at 9.26am on April 10.

Please note changes to Blue Alert warning area. Evacuation Directions has been declared for the Houtman Abrolhos Islands and come into effect from 6am, Saturday 10 April. If you are in or around the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, access the link in the WHAT TO DO section below for important information. Please note changes in the Cyclone details section.

For COVID-19 related information refer to the COVID-19 section below.

Cyclone BLUE ALERT for south of Coral Bay to Lancelin, not including the township of Coral Bay, but including the township of Lancelin in the Mid West Gascoyne

COMMUNITY ALERT LEVEL:

A BLUE ALERT is current for people south of Coral Bay to Lancelin, not including the township of Coral Bay, but including the township of Lancelin, due to Tropical Cyclone Seroja. Although there is no immediate danger you need to start preparing for dangerous weather and keep up to date.

WHAT TO DO:

DFES advises:

  • Get ready for dangerous weather by preparing your home inside and out.
  • Secure boats, caravans, trailers, garden sheds, outdoor furniture, rainwater tanks, LPG bottles, loose material and rubbish around your home and workplace.
  • Ensure your emergency kit and relocation kit are complete and check your family knows what to do.
  • Check in with friends and neighbours to make sure they’re preparing too.
  • Holidaymakers and people travelling should avoid this area. If staying in accommodation, ensure it is safe and speak with your accommodation provider.
  • If camping in a tent or caravan, you are not safe and should seek safer accommodation or leave now.
  • North West Coastal Highway will possibly be closed over the weekend and travellers north of Minilya will not be able to travel south.
  • Your only option then will be to travel further north, and there could be further restrictions on major highways in the coming days.
  • If you are travelling south, have a plan. Fuel may be in short supply and accommodation may not be available.
  • If you are on a vessel on the water or on an island off the coast between Coral Bay and Geraldton, including the Abrolhos Islands, you need to leave now or take shelter, safe haven or anchorage. The responsibility sits with the Master or Skipper.
  • For anyone unfamiliar with the impacts of a cyclone, your safest option is to leave the warning area.
  • Evacuation Directions been declared for the Houtman Abrolhos Islands and come into effect from 6am, Saturday 10 April. If you are in or around the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, access this link for important information. (If you are on a mobile device, hold down on the link and click open in a new tab)

CYCLONE DETAILS:
As at 10 April 2021 08:00 AM the Bureau of Meteorology advised:

Weather conditions will change rapidly near the west coast on Sunday as Seroja accelerates into the coast between Carnarvon and Jurien Bay.

Intensity: Category 2, sustained winds near the centre of 100 kilometres per hour with wind gusts to 140 kilometres per hour.

Location: within 45 kilometres of 20.7 degrees South 108.1 degrees East, estimated to be 640 kilometres west northwest of Exmouth and 990 kilometres northwest of Kalbarri.

Movement: south southwest at 7 kilometres per hour.

Tropical Cyclone Seroja has slowed and is beginning to turn towards the coast.

Seroja will continue to intensify today as it begins to move south possibly reaching Severe Category 3 tonight. During Sunday the system will accelerate towards the coast weakening back to Category 2 intensity as it approaches the central west coast.

The cyclone should gradually weaken as it moves inland on Monday but is still likely to be causing gusty winds east and north of the track as it crosses over the south of the state.

Hazards: Gales with gusts to 100 kilometres per hour are likely to develop in an area between Coral Bay and Kalbarri during Sunday afternoon and extend further south towards Lancelin and inland into the Gascoyne and northern Wheatbelt later Sunday and then further inland to the southern Goldfields during Monday.

Destructive winds with gusts to 150 kilometres per hour are forecast to occur closer to the centre of Seroja as it moves across the coast and into adjacent inland parts.

The most likely area to experience destructive wind gusts is on the coast between Geraldton and Denham.

Seroja will be moving fast, so weather conditions will deteriorate rapidly as it approaches.

Heavy to intense rainfall and flash flooding are likely close to the track of Seroja during Sunday and Monday.

Abnormally high tides could cause minor inundation at the coast between Coral Bay and Lancelin, increasing to serious flooding in the Denham and Shark Bay region and possibly near Kalbarri.

For current Bureau of Meteorology Watch and Warnings visit www.bom.gov.au/cyclone

COVID-19:
What to do if you are self-isolating or quarantining due to COVID-19:

  • If you are in an area subject to COVID-19 restrictions, put your cyclone plan into action now and continue to follow precautions to minimise spread of the virus.

If you have been personally directed to self-isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19:

  • Decide where you will shelter during the cyclone. If it is not safe to shelter in your current location, find alternative suitable premises and wear a mask.
  • If a Red Alert has been issued for your location, shelter in place immediately.
  • If you are unable to return to your quarantine location within one hour, telephone WA Police on 131 444 to advise them you have had to leave due to an emergency.
  • Regardless of your location, continue to follow COVID-19 precautions and maintain appropriate physical distancing.

ROAD CLOSURES AND CONDITIONS:
Some roads may be closed and motorists are asked to reduce speed and drive carefully.

  • Never drive into water of unknown depth and current.
  • Road information may also be available from Main Roads WA by calling 138 138 or visiting travelmap.mainroads.wa.gov.au or by contacting your Local Government Authority.

ANIMAL WELFARE:

  • Animal owners are encouraged to prepare an animal emergency kit now with sufficient food, water, essential medications, halters and leads, cages and bedding adequate for several days.
  • Provide food and water in an area least likely to flood. Provide supplementary feed (such as hay) for livestock.
  • For properties in danger of flooding, move all stock to the highest area of the property away from water sources and plains likely to flood.
  • Consider raising food stores to elevated ground to prevent flood damage
  • Consider opening internal property gates to allow animals to move to dry ground.
  • Be aware of the risks to your animals and your property and keep yourself updated during high-risk periods.
  • For more information, visit www.agric.wa.gov.au/animalwelfare/evacuating-animals-emergencies and www.agric.wa.gov.au/animalwelfare/safer-areas-animals-emergencies

PARK CLOSURES:

There are multiple park closures in the warning area. Visit www.emergency.wa.gov.au for more information.

WHAT EMERGENCY SERVICES ARE DOING:

  • DFES is monitoring the situation.
  • DFES personnel have been deployed to Geraldton in preparation for Tropical Cyclone Seroja.
    • The Incident Management Team are planning for all contingencies pre and post impact of Tropical Cyclone Seroja, to ensure the safety of the community.
    • State Emergency Service (SES) Volunteers from Geraldton/Greenough, Kalbarri, Shark Bay and Carnarvon are assisting with operations and ready to respond if requested.
    • Volunteer Marine Rescue Geraldton are assisting with radio warnings.
    • Local Volunteer Fire and Rescue and Bush Fire Brigades across the Midwest Gascoyne and Pilbara are ready to respond and assist.

IMPORTANT NUMBERS:

  • For SES assistance call 132 500
  • In a life threatening situation call 000
  • For the latest weather information call 1300 659 210 or visit www.bom.gov.au
  • For information about road conditions and closures contact local Police or Main Roads WA on 138 138.

KEEP UP TO DATE:
Visit www.emergency.wa.gov.au, call 13 DFES (13 3337), follow DFES on Twitter: twitter.com/dfes_wa, Facebook: facebook.com/dfeswa/, listen to ABC Local Radio, or news bulletins.

During a power outage, your home phone, computer or other electronic devices connected to the NBN will not work. Include a battery powered radio in your emergency kit.

Updates will be provided when the situation changes