Australia's stormy update

Northern Australia is experiencing flooding. Tropical Cyclone Lua has hit the NW. Another storm is forming to the NE.

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    Motorists wait for the floodwaters to subside on Bruce Highway, just outside Innisfail, Queensland last month[Getty]

    Australia is feeling the effects of two tropical systems, with flooding rains now having an impact across the north of the country. Tropical Cyclone Lua has developed to the north of Western Australia. Meanwhile, a tropical low is now making its way across the northwest of Northern Territory.

    Roads have been flooded in parts of Darwin and Palmerston after the storm swept in from Joseph Bonaparte Gulf. The low was moving quickly, at around 12kph, this has lessened the flooding somewhat, because the heavy rain did not last as long as it might have done.

    The Top End received heavy rain on Tuesday night and into Wednesday with 165mm of rain being recorded in Stokes Hill Wharf in just 21 hours. Darwin recorded 143mm in 24 hours, but the Kimberly coast had the worst of the rain, with around 250mm falling in the same period of time.

    There is, of course, still widespread flooding and the region does remain on flood watch, but the warning status has now been downgraded. However, the threat of high tides, further flooding and winds approaching 100kph does remain. Residents in the Dundee Beach to Northern Territory border have been advised to have their emergency kits ready and to know which emergency shelter they will use if necessary.

    The worst of the rain is now over because the storm system is no longer picking up moisture from the warm waters where it developed. However, since this is the wet season, it is inevitable that the coming days and of course weeks, will bring further downpours to the area with a risk of further flooding.

    Elsewhere, communities in Western Australia’s Pilbara and Kimberley regions are also on alert with a separate system. Cyclone Lua is currently out at sea, some 400km to the northwest of Port Hedland.

    The storm is expected to turn and make landfall by Friday with winds gusting around 140kph.  Emergency services are working to ensure that remote communities and mine sites are prepared. The oil fields in the region have already been closed down.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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