Cyclone Seroja devastates Kalbarri and smashes the Mid West coast

Daryna ZadvirnaThe West Australian
VideoCyclone Seroja hit Kalbarri as a Category 3 last night causing widespread damage and blackouts

Tens of thousands of West Australians have had a sleepless night after Cyclone Seroja made landfall last night, leaving a trail of damage and power outages.

The fast moving storm hit Kalbarri just after 7pm with wind gusts up to 170km/h, before heading south-east towards Geraldton.

The devastation from the air — the town of Kalbarri was smashed on Sunday night night by Tropical Cyclone Seroja.
Camera IconThe devastation from the air — the town of Kalbarri was smashed on Sunday night night by Tropical Cyclone Seroja. Credit: 7NEWS/Simon Hydzik
The devastation from the air — the town of Kalbarri was smashedon Sunday night night by Tropical Cyclone Seroja.
Camera IconThe devastation from the air — the town of Kalbarri was smashedon Sunday night night by Tropical Cyclone Seroja. Credit: 7NEWS/Simon Hydzik

Dozens of Kalbarri residents have reported they’ve been left without a roof and their homes have been destroyed.

Among them is single mother-of-two Rebecca Bond, who last night sheltered in the bathroom under a mattress with her two young children.

VideoKalbarri resident Rebecca Bond discovered her entire bedroom ceiling had collapsed.

Ms Bond said when it was safe to finally emerge she opened her bedroom door to find the whole ceiling had collapsed on the ground.

“Kalbarri has just been decimated,” one local wrote online.

“Most buildings and homes have lost their roof and there is an unbelievable amount of damage.”

Aftermath of cyclone Seroja in Kalbarri this morning.
Camera IconAftermath of cyclone Seroja in Kalbarri this morning. Credit: Kate Swenson/Facebook

Another local Kate Swenson has described what it was like to evacuate with her family from their home as it was being torn apart.

“(It was) scary as hell,” she said.

“We moved to the hall once we lost power, moved to the kids room under a bunk then decided to evacuate in the full storm as the roof and ceiling were going fast.

“Running through the cyclone with tin sheets and trees flying around and about half a metre visibility was insane.”

Damage to Kate Swenson’s roof.
Camera IconDamage to Kate Swenson’s roof. Credit: Kate Swenson

“I took this (photo) hiding on the bottom bunk with my three and four-year-old after we moved from the hall as it had begun to collapse.”

Residents across the coast posted images and video of fallen trees, damaged homes and destroyed fences could be spotted amid the howling wind and rain.

Kalbarri SES manager Steve Cable has warned locals that while the cyclone has passed, the area is still under red alert as “the majority” of power lines are down.

“It’s still too dangerous to come out because we haven’t received a confirmation that the broken power lines are no longer live,” he told The West Australian.

“There is wide spread damage … some houses have completely collapsed, there is debris absolutely everywhere.

“It’s a complete mess.”

Mr Cable said fortunately there have not yet been reports of injuries or loss of life.

Western Power says more than 30,500 homes are without power, as crews wait for conditions to improve before restoration works can begin.

Carnarvon’s historic One Mile Jetty was one of the first casualties of the cyclone — ripped apart around lunchtime on Sunday.

Carnarvon One Mile Jetty was badly damaged by cyclone Seroja.
Camera IconCarnarvon One Mile Jetty was badly damaged by cyclone Seroja. Credit: Belinda Halden/supplied

The Monkey Mia Resort was another — losing part of its roof.

Pat of the roof has come off at RAC Monkey Mia Resort.
Camera IconPat of the roof has come off at RAC Monkey Mia Resort. Credit: CHRIS CASTRO/supplied

Evacuation centres remain open in Port Denison, Carnarvon and Denham.

The WA Country Health Service said Geraldton Hospital will continue to treat emergency patients during the cyclone, but all other appointments have been or will be cancelled.

Premier Mark McGowan yesterday warned that tropical cyclone Seroja would be “like nothing we have seen in decades” - predicting “very serious” damage to communities across WA.

Premier Mark McGowan receives an update on tropical cyclone Seroja from DFES commissioner Darren Klemm at the DFES State Operations Centre.
Camera IconPremier Mark McGowan receives an update on tropical cyclone Seroja from DFES commissioner Darren Klemm at the DFES State Operations Centre. Credit: Nic Ellis/The West Australian

There is a red alert still in place for parts of the Midwest Gascoyne.

Department of Fire and Emergency Services says crews are assessing the damaged areas and it is not yet safe to go outdoors until the All Clear is given.

Although the blue alert has been downgraded to an All Clear with caution, there is still a severe weather warning current for some of these areas.

The cyclone red alert is for south of Carnarvon to Lancelin, including the City of Greater Geraldton and the Shires of Chapman Valley, Irwin, Mingenew, Morawa, Northampton, Perenjori, Shark Bay and Three Springs and townsites of Coorow, Carnamah, Dalwallinu, Denham, Jurien Bay, Lancelin, Moora, Paynes Find and Wongan Hills.

For more information and alerts, head to Emergency WA.

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