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WA residents told to prepare for Cyclone Rusty

Monday February 25, 2013 - 01:49 EDT

Residents in Western Australia's north are being told to prepare for the effects of Tropical Cyclone Rusty.

A blue alert is in place for people in or near the coastal communities of Broome to Whim Creek, including people in or near Port Hedland and Wallal.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services says although there is no immediate danger, people need to start preparing for dangerous weather and keep up to date.

At 8pm (AWST) Sunday, the category one system was estimated to be 330 kilometres north of Port Hedland and 445 kilometres west of Broome.

It is moving south at 6 kilometres per hour.

Rusty is moving slowly towards the coast and gales are expected on the coast overnight between Wallal and Whim Creek and then extending north to Broome during Monday.

The weather bureau says further intensification is likely as the cyclone approaches the coast on Monday and Tuesday, and there is a high risk that it will cross the coast as a severe tropical cyclone.

It adds, however, that the slow speed of the cyclone means the crossing time and location is uncertain.

A warning on the bureau's website says Rusty is a large tropical cyclone and its slow movement should result in higher than usual rainfall in the Pilbara and western Kimberley.

Very heavy rainfall is expected in near coastal parts of the eastern Pilbara and western Kimberley on Monday, it added.


© ABC 2013

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