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Cyclone Seroja leaves trail of destruction along WA coast

Gareth Parker
Article image for Cyclone Seroja leaves trail of destruction along WA coast

The communities of Kalbarri and Northampton have borne the brunt of tropical cyclone Seroja as it crossed WA’s coastline, with around half the homes in the area suffering damage.

The category three storm has been downgraded as it tracks further inland, dumping heavy rains across the goldfields as it moves towards Esperance.

Todd Pender of the Geraldton Department of Fire and Emergency Services told 6PR’s Gareth Parker crews are only just beginning to assess the damage.

“There is some significant damage through some of the townsites of Kalbarri, and Northampton and all the way through to Mullewa,” he said.

“Here in Geraldton it largely got spared due to the track of the cyclone being to the north of Geraldton.

“Walls have come down, fences have come down and trees are on roads.

6PR and Nine News reporter Darius Winterfield was in Kalbarri when the cyclone hit and said “it was wild to say the least”.

“It got pretty dangerous, pretty quickly,” he said.

“We had to duck for cover…. the tropical cyclone was coming in hard and fast.

“The roof to our balcony got ripped straight off, and at one point we grabbed all our gear and ran to the back of our apartment.”

He said SES crews are now assessing the damage.

“We could see that the destruction is widespread,” he said.

“They’ve told us that two in every 10 houses here don’t have a roof, half have been damaged it some way, shape or form.”

A red alert remains in place for an area stretching from Carnarvon to Lancelin.

Residents are urged to stay inside until getting the all clear from authorities.

Click play to hear more. 

6PR and Nine News reporter Mia Egerton-Warburton was in Geraldton overnight.

“It got a bit dicey at about 8.30 that’s when we saw the worst of it, we saw winds of about 120 kilometres an hour, and that was pretty frightening,” she said.

“All the lights went out on the street, and we were just in complete darkness.”

Bureau of Meteorology WA manager James Ashley said the system was downgraded from a cyclone to a tropical low at 5am.

“It is still packing a punch, particularly on the eastern side of the system, there are still wind gusts up over 100 kilometres an hour,” he said.

“We do have a severe weather warning which stretches from the Southern Cross, Hyden area down through towards Salmon Gums and Esperance.

“It is moving at about 60 kilometres an hour.”

Click play to hear more. 

(Photo: Julie Freeman/Supplied.)

Gareth Parker