The Guardian | World | Australia | Western Australia - January 30. 2016 - January 31(1:01 GMT): Tropical Cyclone Stan Weakens as it Crosses Pilbara Coast in Western Australia
The cyclone crossed at the Pardoo roadhouse, east Pilbara coast at 2am and was on Sunday morning moving inland in a south-easterly direction.
It was still classified as a category two cyclone and was moving about 18km/h.
Residents living between Port Hedland and Wallal, including Pardoo, Wallal, Eighty Mile and Marble Bar, were still on red alert, with WA Department of Fire and Emergency Services warning a threat to lives and homes still existed.
People living in the cyclone’s path have been told to shelter in the strongest part of their home and stay away from windows and doors until the all-clear sign was sounded by authorities.
Tropical cyclone meteorologist Joe Courtney said it was fortunate that Cyclone Stan did not intensify into a more severe cyclone overnight.
“We believe it was a category two. Fortunately, it didn’t intensify to become a severe cyclone,” he said.
“The primary threat is mainly rainfall, and fortunately it will avoid most of the major river system of the Pilbara.”
While Pardoo, a roadhouse tavern and cattle station on the Great Northern Highway, was expected to be the worst hit, Courtney said the strongest winds occurred east of Pardoo and there was no major damage reported from the community.
“They’re very resilient people out there,” he said. “They’ve had category four and five cyclones come through in recent history, so a category two cyclone shouldn’t cause any significant damage for those areas.”
However, potential for heavy rain still remained, with widespread rainfall between 50mm and 100mm expected to fall near the cyclone.
Courtney said current wind gusts of up to 130km/h near the centre would weaken to about 110km/h later on Sunday morning, progressively easing as the day goes on.
Stan is the first cyclone of the Australian season, which begins officially on 1 November each year.
Temporary evacuation centres have been set up at Karratha and South Hedland.