After the fire, Cyclone Blake lashes northern Australia with heavy rain


The Australian Bureau of Meteorology said Cyclone Blake had brought 15cm (six inches) of rain in 24 hours to the town of 14,000 people but had not become a damaging category two storm as expected.

SYDNEY: A tropical cyclone brought heavy rain to the northwestern coast of Australia on Tuesday (Jan 7) and gusts of 102km (63 miles) per hour to the town of Broome causing minimal damage.

The Bureau of Meteorology said Blake had brought 15cm (six inches) of rain in 24 hours to the town of 14,000 people but had not become a damaging category two storm as expected.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Service said there had been four reports of damage, including flooding of properties and a tree that fell on a car.

Blake is the first tropical cyclone of the season and became a category one storm on Monday.

Authorities had warned residents to "prepare for cyclonic weather and organise an emergency kit including first aid kit, torch, portable radio, spare batteries, food and water".

The cyclone is not expected to have an impact on the bushfires currently raging in other parts of the massive country, but could signal a change in hot and dry conditions that have fuelled the fires.

Many also believe that Cyclone Blake can actually bring some rain to fire-affected areas, including the blaze which has forced the closure of the Eyre Highway in the state’s east for several days.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s Neil Bennett said the cyclone’s expected path would take it into WA’s southeast and close to the fires which continued to burn.

“We’re not particularly sure how much rain may fall on the fire zone nor are we sure how that will impact on fire operations,” Bennett said.

“(But) on Wednesday (jan 8) there is the likelihood of some thunderstorm activity and we expect to see some rainfall”.- Agencies
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