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Cocos Islands buffeted by strong winds as Tropical Cyclone Kate passes to the north

Stephanie Dalzell, Friday December 26, 2014 - 00:30 EDT
ABC image
Tropical Cyclone Kate's projected path as of 11:50am today. - ABC

Locals on the Cocos Islands have spent Christmas Day hunkered down in their homes, as Tropical Cyclone Kate passed just north of the tiny community more than 2,000 kilometres off the West Australian coast.

The Bureau of Meteorology said the category one tropical cyclone passed just 40 kilometres north-west of the islands Thursday afternoon.

It said damaging wind gusts of more than 100 kilometres an hour were felt in the remote Indian Ocean territories, which are home to about 600 people.

The area was also hit with heavy rain, with the islands recording almost 140 millimetres of rain in 24 hours.

Cocos Islands resident Amber Watters said most locals spent the day indoors, and only ventured outside to help others repair damage to their homes.

"We experienced some heavy showers and also heavy winds, it was not as strong as what we were predicting, so it's quite moderate and mild at the moment really," she said on Thursday night.

"Some roofs had some issues, we lost a couple of the tops of roofing panels, so they were attended to urgently as best as could be done.

"We were put on a yellow alert earlier in the day, just so that people didn't go out in harm's way, so we stayed put until we had to assist with the roof that was coming apart across the road."

Ms Watters said residents would most likely spend Boxing Day dealing with the aftermath of the cyclone.

"Once we've been given the all clear to move around the Department of Fire and Emergency Service volunteers together with the emergency management committee and Department of Infrastructure and basically the community really will just get out there and tidy up the tree branches and things that have fallen," she said.

"DFES will attend to appropriately addressing a couple of roofs that lost their bits and pieces.

"We're pleased that the cyclone passed... it worked out to be an okay Christmas Day after all even if we were couped up inside."

Communities on Home and West Island have been urged to listen for the bureau's next advice.


- ABC

© ABC 2014

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