2 powerful cyclones bear down on north Australian coast

Australian force helps evacuations ahead of major outback cyclone

The Bureau of Meteorology said the category four storm cell was "starting to make landfall" between Port McArthur and the Northern Territory-Queensland border at 11:20am on Saturday.

Emergency services have not ruled out the possibility of the cyclone ratcheting up to a Category 5 system as the cyclone intensifies in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Red Cross has been activated to manage and provide support in evacuation centres set up in Darwin and Katherine, to temporarily house the thousands arriving from Groote Eylandt, Numbulwar and Borroloola, in what's being compared to the biggest evacuation since Cyclone Tracy. "We're getting five metres above so we're expecting coastal flooding", he said.

"It's really important that people understand this is a very serious cyclone". "Very soon the winds will rapidly increase from the opposite direction to just as fast or even stronger than before".

Residents of McArthur River, a remote town in the Northern Territory, boarding an Australian military plane as authorities evacuate communities in the path of a powerful cyclone.

The last category 4 tropical cyclone to hit the WA coast was Christine in December 2013.

Veronica is expected to land somewhere between the iron ore mining towns of Karratha and Port Hedland.




The eye of the cyclone is estimated between 30-50km wide.

A pair of fierce tropical cyclones-Cyclone Trevor and Cyclone Veronica-are poised to strike Australia on two coasts within a day of each other, prompting mass evacuations as well as official warnings of severe and risky weather.

Chris McSherry was one of several surfers at Gove taking advantage of the waves whipped up by weather conditions associated with Cyclone Trevor on Friday.

While Cyclone Trevor is now a Category 1 system, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology says it will intensify quickly over the next two days.

Trevor left behind a trail of damage in Queensland's Cape York Peninsula earlier this week, uprooting trees, causing flooding and roof damage, closing schools and roads, and knocking out power supplies.

The Western Australian Country Health Service said procedures were in place at health centres so they can continue operating.

But the threat is not over for communities near Tennant Creek, 500km inland, as the Bureau of Meteorology on Sunday warned of heavy rain and destructive winds in the NT's east.

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