Mining companies in the Pilbara, Western Australia are on the watch for Tropical Cyclone Damien, which is lurking off the coast of Port Hedland.
Tropical Cyclone Damien was forecast to intensify and turn towards the Pilbara coast today, with gale force winds expected on the Pilbara coast in the afternoon and evening.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has also tipped “a severe cyclone impact” in the region on Saturday.
At 5am Friday Western Australian time, BOM reported 100 kilometre per hour winds near the centre of the cyclone, which was deemed category 2.
This is expected to strengthen to category 4 on Saturday morning as Cyclone Damien approaches Dampier.
“Gales are forecast to develop along the Pilbara coast between Pardoo Roadhouse and Mardie, including Port Hedland, Karratha and Dampier from Friday afternoon,” BOM stated.
“Destructive winds with gusts to 150 kilometres per hour may develop overnight Friday night as the cyclone approaches the coast.
“Very destructive winds with gusts to 230 kilometres per hour are expected near the cyclone centre on Saturday.”
BOM warned residents in Dampier, Karratha and Port Hedland about the potential of a very dangerous storm tide, damaging waves and very dangerous flooding.
Further heavy rain is expected over the weekend in the Pilbara and Gascoyne regions as the cyclone moves inland.
BOM has turned on an alert starting this morning, warning people in or near Wallal Downs to Port Hedland to prepare for cyclonic weather, move to shelter and organise an emergency kit.