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The new threat facing Kalbarri residents after Cyclone Seroja

Steve Mills
Article image for The new threat facing Kalbarri residents after Cyclone Seroja

There is a new threat to the residents of Kalbarri as they begin to clean up the path of destruction left by Cyclone Seroja.

75 per cent of buildings were impacted in the tourist town, and there are now concerns asbestos was disturbed during the storm.

Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia CEO, Melita Markey, said the aftermath of a cyclone is always the most concerning time.

“It’s really devastating and of great concern because we know the dangers, we know that we have to deal with it properly,” she told Millsy.

“We are dealing with a situation where asbestos diseases develop overtime, so while there is no immediate risk at the moment, there is a risk in the future.”

She said “there is no safe level” of asbestos and that people in the area should be taking every precaution.

Photos: Geoff Stevens

But prevention and research director at the Cancer Council WA, Melissa Ledger, said the risk is “very low”.

“There is a level of asbestos fibres in the air all the time at ground level, and Kalbarri’s level of asbestos in the air hasn’t changed because of this.

“There has been damage and we do need to clean it up.”

She said people need to use the correct personal protective equipment, including “masks [P2 or N95], disposable coveralls, gloves, and boots that can be wiped down.”

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Steve Mills
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