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Broome under threat as Cyclone forms

RESIDENTS in Western Australia’s north are battening down for a category one tropical cyclone which formed off the Kimberley coast on Thursday.

There are concerns the storm could hit the popular tourist town of Broome.

A yellow alert has been issued for the area near and around Cape Leveque and the Aboriginal community of Bidyadanga, as well as Broome as Tropical Cyclone Joyce approaches.

The Bureau of Meteorology has warned Joyce could intensify to a category three, severe tropical cyclone by the time it hits, bringing wind gusts of up to 165km/h.

Shire of Broome councillor Chris Mitchell, who chairs the local Emergency Management Committee, said most shops and agencies were closed as people batten down ahead of the approaching storm.

He said most of the community was prepared for the impact.

Residents have mostly finished cleaning up the damage from Tropical Cyclone Hilda, which hit WA’s north on December 27, Mr Mitchell told ABC radio in Perth. He said the ground remained very waterlogged, which could cause more trees to fall as they’re battered by winds of more than 100km/h.

And Cyclone Joyce will bring more rain, with 30mm to 150mm expected daily and isolated falls from 150mm up to 300mm close to the cyclone’s path.

The category one system is currently about 140km north-north-west of Broome and is expected to make landfall on Friday evening or early Saturday. The Department of Emergency Services is warning people to take action and get ready to shelter.

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