Second cyclone bears down on Australia
AUSTRALIA: Australia was bracing for its second cyclone in as
many days on Sunday with a tropical low intensifying off the northeast
state of Queensland.
Cyclone Lua, the strongest storm to hit Australia since last year’s
destructive top-strength Cyclone Yasi, ripped into the nation’s
minerals-rich west coast on Saturday, bringing wild winds and heavy
Emergency officials said the sparsely-populated region appeared to
have escaped the worst, with no injuries and only minor damage reported
so far from the storm, which was rated category four of five in
severity. “With the category four and with the winds that it had when it
crossed the coast, we’ve been extremely lucky not to have sustained
quite a bit of damage in some of those areas,” said Lyn Bryant,
spokeswoman for the Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA).
Lua had dissipated to a category one storm by Sunday afternoon and
was expected to drop below cyclone strength before nightfall according
to the Bureau of Meteorology. But forecasters said a second cyclone was
forming in Australia’s northern Gulf of Carpentaria region, with the
bureau warning residents to prepare for gales of up to 185 kilometres
(115 miles) per hour and possible flash flooding.
“The low is expected to continue moving in a northwesterly direction
over southern Gulf of Carpentaria waters today, where it may develop
into a tropical cyclone on Monday,” the bureau said.
Cyclones are common in northern and western Australia during the
warmer months, with last year’s Yasi -- the worst storm in a century.