Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tropical Cyclone Rusty In Pilbara

Cyclone Rusty is a Category 3 cyclone and has made its way very slowly towards the Pilbara, in the North of Western Australia ( It was upgraded to Category 4 at 8am GMT+8 but has been downgraded to Category 3. Australia’s Tropical Cyclone Category System extends from 1 to 5; a Category 3 severe tropical cyclone is equivalent to a Category 1 Hurricane on the US Saffir-Simpson category scale (

At 5:00pm GMT+8 Rusty crossed the coast at 5pm at Pardoo, 110 kilometres east northeast of Port Hedland and will now move inland and gradually weaken. Wind gusts up to 165kmh are expected near the cyclone centre; winds exceeding 230kmh are likely to develop. Rusty is expected to weaken below cyclone intensity overnight Thursday and winds are expected to gradually ease in Port Hedland tonight.The wind gusts near the centre of the cyclone at 6:00pm GMT+8 were 205 kilometres per hour and weakening; the central pressure was 952 hectoPascals.

Highly dangerous winds and rain are expected to continue until Thursday. More than a dozen schools in the area have been closed, hundreds of homes are without power and people in low-lying areas of Port Hedland have been urged to relocate because of the possibility of a storm surge in the area.

People from Pardoo to Whim Creek including Port Hedland and South Hedland, are on "red alert"; they may need to stay sheltered for up to 36 hours. People in the adjacent inland areas including Marble Bar should go to shelter immediately. People in communities between Wallal and Pardoo, extending inland to Nullagine are on “yellow alert” and need to take action and get ready to shelter from a cyclone. Those in communities between Sandfire and Wallal and between Nullagine and Newman are on “blue alert” and need to prepare for cyclonic weather.

Perth Weather Live will issue their next advice by 9:00 pm GMT+8 Wednesday 27 February.

If you are in a cyclone-affected area, please ensure you have:
• A portable, battery-operated radio and spare batteries
• Torches (recommended in preference of candles)
• A supply of tinned or dehydrated food for four days
• At least three litres of water, per person, per day, for four days
• Emergency lighting
• Suitable clothing and footwear
• A first-aid kit and essential medicines

A map showing the track of the cyclone is available at:

The image was taken on Barrow island, 50 kilometres northwest of the Western Australia coast; it shows the first signs of Cyclone Rusty.
Image: @cristymacqueen

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