Communities in Western Australia’s North West are battening down with Cyclone Carlos expected to intensify overnight.
There has already been storm damage in Karratha with residents describing chaotic scenes after a mini-tornado ripped through the town.
The 10 minute weather event, which the Bureau of Meteorology confirmed was connected to the cyclone, hit just before 3:00 pm. (ASWT)
Business owner Glenda Jones describes the damage in the centre of town.
“The whole building started to shake and then we came outside and there’d been cars lifted up and smashed together,” she said.
“Probably four, five, six courses of bricks have fallen out of the building next door and smashed onto my vehicles, the hotel’s got a lot of damage to it as well as power lines down everywhere.”
Ms Jones says there were pieces of fencing and roof sheets flying through the air.
The Fire and Emergency Services Authority’s Allen Gale says power has been cut off to some areas.
“Anybody that is out and about; there is lightning and thunder around at present and we urge you to stay indoors,” he said.
Horizon Power says around 1,000 customers in Karratha are without power.
Horizon’s Ronan Raudonikis says crews are already on the ground restoring power.
“Should the public find another power line that we’re not aware of yet then they should certainly stay well away, call us on our fault line 132351 and if they can possibly make sure that other people don’t approach the line until we can get there to make it safe,” he said.
A yellow alert has been issued for people in or near Pardoo to Mardie, including Karratha and Dampier.
Destructive winds with gusts exceeding 125 kilometres per hour are expected overnight between Port Hedland and Whim Creek, then extending further west during tomorrow.
All public schools in Karratha, Port Hedland and Roebourne will be closed tomorrow due to the extreme weather.