Severe cyclonic storm ravages western Australia


Sydney: A severe cyclone storm ravaged the key mining region of Pilbara in Western Australia on  Sunday forcing authorities to halt evacuations, reports said.

Cyclone Veronica weakened from a category 4 storm before its core winds hit the coast near the mining centre of Port Hedland.

The Met officials have warned the system was slow moving and would continue pounding the region with powerful gale and heavy rain for 24 to 48 hours.

Officials said no deaths, injuries or significant damage were reported from the storm. Heavy rains were continuing and flooding was still a danger, they added.

Authorities said the army and police had evacuated more than 2,000 residents from outposts in Trevor’s path.

Those rescued are mostly indigenous communities.

Major mining and energy companies took precautionary steps across the region, a hub of liquefied natural gas and iron-ore exports, with ports cleared of ships and non-essential staff evacuated, reports said.

Media reports said Australia’s western coast usually experiences  three or four cyclones per year. The emergency services said residents are always prepared for such storm.

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