Thu, 13 May 2021

SYDNEY, April 12 (Xinhua) -- A tropical cyclone hit Australia's west coast overnight, destroying hundreds of properties and leaving tens of thousands of residents without power.

Kalbarri, a popular tourist town 580 km north of Perth in the state of Western Australia and also home to about 1,400 residents, was hit hard by the cyclone, with no deaths or major injuries recorded so far.

Homes have been destroyed and more than 30,500 residents were left without power after the cyclone made landfall as a category three storm at about 8 p.m. on Sunday, said national broadcaster ABC on Monday.

Phone services have also been affected, with Telstra reporting widespread outages to its mobile network.

Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan said 70 percent of homes in Kalbarri suffered some damage, and about 40 percent of those homes were thought to have sustained major damage including total loss.

"The next few days will be very tough and difficult but we will get through this together," he said.

Though the cyclone was downgraded to a tropical low, a red alert is still in place for nearby Northampton. Western Australia's Department of Fire and Emergency Services said crews were assessing the damaged areas, urging residents to stay indoors until the all-clear signal is given.

The Bureau of Meteorology said ex-tropical cyclone Seroja has moved offshore southeast of Esperance and will continue moving away from the coast.

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