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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Australia. Cyclone Ilsa is approaching Western Australia. It is expected to be the strongest cyclone in the area in more than 10 years

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Powerful cyclone Ilsa swirls off the northern coast of Western Australia and is gaining strength. Experts have warned it could be the strongest storm to make landfall in this part of the country in more than a decade. The wind speed is expected to exceed 250 kilometers per hour.

The Australian Meteorological Authority (BOM) said Cyclone Ilsa is expected to make landfall on Thursday evening or early Friday morning local time. The element is expected to strike between the towns of Broome and Port Hedland, Australia’s main iron ore export port. In total, about 30,000 people live in these towns. Ilsa is now classified as a category 3 tropical cyclone. Weather warnings have been issued for the area from the community of Bidyadanga to Port Hedland.

“Wind can move caravans”

At the time of impact, Ilsa is expected to generate wind gusts in excess of 250 kilometers per hour, which corresponds to the strength of an Atlantic Ocean hurricane of category four or five on the five-point ascending Saffir-Simpson scale.

“Winds of this magnitude can not only break trees and power lines, but also move caravans and trampolines,” said BOM meteorologist Miriam Bradbury.

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The local authorities appealed to residents to secure all items that could be blown away by the wind. Tourists staying along the part of the coast between Broome and Port Hedland have been asked to leave. Some people flocked to the shops to stock up on food supplies.

The strongest in over a decade

Western Australia’s Fire and Rescue Services Commissioner Darren Klemm said it had been more than 10 years since the state last experienced a tropical cyclone of this magnitude.

The north coast of Western Australia has been affected by 13 of these types since 1960 storms, the strength of which corresponded to a Category 4 Atlantic hurricane. It would, however, be the first cyclone in the location since Cyclone Laurence in 2009, developing winds of at least 240 km/h at landfall.

The strongest storm on record to hit Australia was Tropical Cyclone Monica in 2006. The wind speed then exceeded 290 km/h. This element swept through the eastern and northern parts of the country.

Cyclone Ilsa in a satellite image from April 11worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov

Main photo source: worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov

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