Crime Stoppers

Tropical Cyclone Nathan Update 13

Sunday 22-Mar-2015 09:34

The destructive core of Tropical Cyclone Nathan is moving onto the coast between Nhulunbuy and Cape Shield.

Region 2 Regional Controller, Commander Bruce Porter, said that the Bureau of Meteorology advises that a cyclone WARNING is in place from Goulburn Island to Groote Eylandt including Maningrida, Milingimbi, Elcho Island, Gapuwiyak, Nhulunbuy and Groote Eylandt.

A cyclone WATCH is in place from Goulburn Island to Croker Island and Gunbalanya to Goulburn Island.

Residents from Groote Eylandt to Nhulunbuy are advised to TAKE SHELTER NOW.

“Public shelters in communities from Groote Eylandt to Elcho Island including Nhulunbuy and Gapuwiyak are now open. Make your decision quickly as winds are shortly expected to reach a dangerous level,” said Commander Porter.

At 9.00am, the centre of Tropical Cyclone Nathan was located near the northeast Arnhem coast as a Category 2 cyclone. Cyclone Nathan will continue moving west northwest with the destructive core currently moving onto the coast between Cape Shield and Nhulunbuy.

Cyclone Nathan will continue crossing northeast Arnhem during today then begin to weaken as it moves westward parallel to the Top End north coast during Monday.

The following Public Shelters are open for residents whose homes are not constructed to building code or who are unsure of their accommodation:

  • Nhulunbuy - Gove Hospital and Yirrkala-Laynhapuy Homelands Centre
  • Groote Eylandt - Angurugu and Umbakumba
  • Milyakburra (Bickerton Island)
  • Mapurru School
  • Galiwinku (Elcho Island) - Marthakal Workshop and the Dhurkkay Building (School).  The Shepherdson College is being used to house the residents displaced from the demobilisation of Camp Elcho.

Communities under WARNING

The Territory Controller advises residents from Groote Eylandt to Nhulunbuy to TAKE SHELTER NOW.

DO NOT drive or move about outside, you will be advised by the Territory Controller when it is safe to do so.

If you DO NOT have accommodation constructed to the Building Code or are unsure of your present accommodation you should PROCEED IMMEDIATELY to shelter with family, friends, or one of the local emergency shelters. Take your emergency kit with you.

Private Sector businesses and organisations still open at this time are strongly advised to consider securing and closing their premises. Employers are reminded of their Duty of Care to ensure the safety of any employees still at work.

Communities under WATCH

The Territory Controller advises residents from Milinginbi to Goulburn Island, including Maningrida and Milingimbi, that now is the time to make final preparations to your home shelter or identify which public emergency shelter or strong building to use. You should now have your emergency kit complete and ready. DO NOT PROCEED TO PUBLIC EMERGENCY SHELTERS UNTIL ADVISED TO DO SO.

The Territory Controller advises communities under Watch that now is the time to finalise your emergency kit, clear your yards and balconies, and commence home shelter preparations.

“If you DO NOT have accommodation constructed to the Building Code or are unsure of your present accommodation, you should determine NOW where you will shelter. This may include arranging to shelter with family, friends or in public emergency shelters, or strong buildings, where available in your community,” said Commander Porter.

This advice is issued to allow you sufficient time in which to take the necessary precautions before winds reach a dangerous level.

Please ensure that friends, family and neighbours have heard and understood this message, particularly new arrivals to the area.

Further advice on cyclone emergencies is available at



Commander Porter said that the Power and Water Corporation advises that building occupants should fill bath tubs and water containers with water before the cyclone arrives. Do not use chemical or fuel containers to store drinking water. After the cyclone has passed as a precautionary measure, it is recommended that tap water used for drinking and oral hygiene be boiled first and allowed to cool.

Power stations in the communities will continue to operate as long as it is safe to do so. 

After a cyclone, downed power lines might be live and lethal. Stay away and stay safe.

After a cyclone you should flush toilets with a bucket to reduce the likelihood of blockages.

Further information can be found about how to prepare can be found at

For the latest Bureau of Meteorology Advice go to