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Cyclone warning issued in Australia's Northern Territory coastal areas

02-16-2011 15:06 BJT

CANBERRA, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- A cyclone is expected to hit Northern Territory of Australia in the next 24 hours, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) warned on Wednesday.

The BoM has issued a cyclone warning for coastal areas from the Daly River Mouth to Point Stuart, including Darwin and the Tiwi Islands.

A tropical low situated about 85 kilometers south-west of Darwin at 5:00pm (ACDT) on Tuesday is expected to move into the Beagle Gulf and may develop into a tropical cyclone during Wednesday, possibly about 4:00pm.

"Gales with gusts to 110 kilometers per hour are expected to develop between Daly River Mouth and Point Stuart, including Darwin and the Tiwi Islands, during Wednesday," the bureau said in a statement.

"Destructive winds with gusts to 130 kilometers per hour may develop over the Tiwi Islands late Thursday if the cyclone continues to intensify.

"Heavy rain may cause widespread flooding in the northern Darwin-Daly District."

Schools in Darwin and Palmerston, as well as Darwin's airport have been closed on Wednesday, while residents have been advised to make final preparations ahead of the expected cyclone.

BoM regional director Andrew Tupper said the cyclone predicted for the Northern Territory coast areas will not be anything like the destructive Cyclone Yasi in Queensland.

However, heavy rain and strong winds have already forced the closure of the Botanic Gardens and Territory Wildlife Park.

The operators of the Mandorah ferry also said strong winds and heavy seas have prevented the ferry from running on Wednesday.

Also, due to the tropical low sitting over the north of the Darwin Daly district, Darwin is currently experiencing heavy rainfalls. About 237 millimeters of rain fell at Dum-in-Mirrie, near Darwin, in the 24 hours to 9:00am on Tuesday, while 170 millimeters fell in the Darwin suburb of Marrara.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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