Tropical Cyclone Alfred lashes northern Australia

Damaging winds and life-threatening floods force people from their homes around the Gulf of Carpentaria.


    Tropical Cyclone Alfred has formed in the warm waters of Australia's Gulf of Carpentaria. The storm has already brought heavy floods to parts of Northern Territory and northern Queensland.

    Alfred is currently located about 500km to the east of Darwin. The system is currently packing winds of around 80km/h with gusts approaching 100km/h.

    The system will not strengthen further in the coming hours, before making landfall in the far northeast of Northern Territory around 03:00GMT on Tuesday.

    Those winds could cause some damage, particularly since the whole system is staggering along at just 6km/h. With that in mind, greater concerns surround the amount of rainfall associated with the storm.

    There has already been flooding and there is plenty more rain in the forecast. The centre of the cyclone is very close to Borroloola. The town recorded 184mm of rain on Sunday and could easily report a similar amount by the end of Monday.

    A little further north, in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Centre Island reported a massive 267mm of rain in the 24 hours up to 06:00GMT on Monday.

    At least one remote indigenous Northern Territory community has been evacuated as Tropical Cyclone Alfred approaches with its life-threatening rains.

    More than 70 people from the Garawa community on the outskirts of Borroloola have already moved to higher ground. The town of around 1,000 has become cut off, and authorities have advised all residents to stay indoors.

    The last few days have seen drier weather in the Darwin area, but heavy rains are likely to set in here by the end of the week.

    Even though Tropical Cyclone Alfred is set to weaken quickly in the coming days, it is expected to pass to the south of the Top End as its takes the heaviest downpours west and across the Kimberly Plateau by Friday.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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