Crime Stoppers

Tropical Cyclone Nathan Update 19

Monday 23-Mar-2015 08:40

Tropical Cyclone Nathan is continuing to intensify as it moves in a westward direction across the Arafura Sea.

Tropical Cyclone Nathan is continuing to intensify as it moves in a westward direction across the Arafura Sea.

Region 2 Regional Controller, Commander Bruce Porter, said that the Bureau of Meteorology advises that a cyclone WARNING remains in place from Croker Island to Elcho Island, including Croker Island, Goulburn Island, Maningrida, Milingimbi, Elcho Island and Ramingining.

A cyclone WATCH is in place from Croker Island to Cape Don and Cape Hotham to Gunbalanya.

Cyclone warning and watch are now CANCELLED east of Elcho Island to Nhulunbuy. Elcho Island itself remains under WARNING.

A State of Emergency has been declared for Goulburn Island as residents are evacuated ahead of the cyclone’s arrival, currently predicted for Tuesday morning.

“The community at Warruwi is currently being evacuated with residents to be temporarily accommodated at the Foskey Pavilion at Darwin Showgrounds,” said Commander Porter.

“Police have the power to force people to evacuate. We do not however, expect to enforce this, as residents are cooperating with the evacuation.”

Evacuees will arrive at the Aviation Institute prior to being transferred to the Foskey Pavilion at the Darwin Showgrounds.

The following schools are closed today:

  • Shepherdson College
  • Gapuwiyak School
  • Milingimbi School
  • Maningrida School
  • Warruwi School.

“Nhulunbuy High School, Nhulunbuy Primary School and Yirrkala School are open, however parents may wish to keep their children home today due to the weather conditions,” said Commander Porter.

“Teachers at those schools should report for duty. If they require leave to attend to damaged property they should contact their principal as soon as possible.”

The Bureau of Meteorology advises that at 6.30am the centre of Category 2 Tropical Cyclone Nathan was estimated to be 95 kilometres east northeast of Maningrida and 45 kilometres north northeast of Milingimbi, moving west northwest at 8 kilometres per hour.

Cyclone Nathan is expected to increase in intensity now that it is over open water and is reach Category 3 today. Cyclone Nathan is expected to move parallel to the coast during today, before turning southwest towards the coast late tonight or early tomorrow, while maintaining its intensity. Cyclone Nathan is expected to make landfall as a Category 3 system along the Top End north coast during Tuesday before weakening over land.

GALES, with gusts up to 120 kilometres per hour, are occurring over coastal parts of northern Arnhem Land, near Milingimbi. Gales are expected to extend further west to Maningrida this morning or early afternoon and may extend west to Croker Island overnight or Tuesday morning. Gales may extend west to Cape Don and Cape Hotham during Tuesday. Winds are expected to ease below gale force later this morning along the northeast Arnhem Land coast as the cyclone moves further west.

HEAVY RAINFALL, which may lead to flash flooding, across coastal parts of northern Arnhem Land as the cyclone moves westwards. A FLOOD WATCH is current for the Northern Coastal Rivers.

A STORM TIDE is expected between Maningrida and Elcho Island. Coastal residents between Maningrida and Goulburn Island are specifically warned of a DANGEROUS STORM TIDE as the cyclone centre crosses the coast on Tuesday. Tides are likely to rise significantly above the normal high tide, with DAMAGING WAVES and DANGEROUS FLOODING.

Commander Porter advises that communities currently in shelter should remain inside until advised by local authorities that the ALL CLEAR has been given.

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

Residents from Nhulunbuy to Alyangula are advised that IT IS NOW SAFE TO LEAVE YOUR SHELTER AREA. Before moving around, ensure that you are wearing strong clothing and footwear. Look around your immediate neighbourhood and render assistance where you can, but be aware of fallen power lines and debris. If you have to drive, go directly to your destination.

For emergency help in floods, storms and cyclones call 132 500.

For life threatening emergencies call 000.

Further advice on cyclone emergencies is available at www.secureNT.nt.gov.au

For the latest Bureau of Meteorology advice go to www.bom.gov.au