Cyclone Nathan slams Territory

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 22 Maret 2015 | 23.08

Tropical cyclone Nathan has made landfall in the NT as gale force winds lash the Arnhem Land coast.

TROPICAL cyclone Nathan stormed through a battered Elcho Island for the second time in a month on Sunday night.

Cyclone Nathan struck the remote community of Galiwinku at category 2 intensity with wind gusts reaching up to 140kph late on Sunday afternoon.

The "destructive eye" of the cyclone passed directly over Elcho Island, according to the weather bureau.

Carnage on Gove harbour causeway as Cyclone Nathan hits the NT coast. Video from Nhulunbuy Notice Board/Facebook/Trevor Allan Hosie.

The incident came just four weeks after category 4 Cyclone Lam ripped through the region and destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses.

Elcho Island resident Ruben David, 62, bunkered down in his cyclone proof home to whether the storm on Sunday for the second time in a matter of weeks.

Cyclone Nathan impacts Gove. Picture: Facebook/Jamie Kokles-Ridgway Source: Supplied

"It's strange because I can hear a lot more noise this time around and I'm feeling it more," Mr David told the NT News as Cyclone Nathan bore down.

"It's like a mini earth quake that's shaking the house and its steel frames.

"I'm hearing a howling sound and groaning, the wind is very strong, there are garbage bins flying around outside.

Calm before the storm - sunset at Nhulunbuy the night before Cyclone Nathan hit. Picture: Matt Burman Photography Source: Supplied

"It's different this time because there are no trees and leaves rubbing against the houses... they're all gone from Cyclone Lam.

"The power is off and it's dark now but it's certainly very loud."

Mr David said he had just finished clearing his property and repairing his home in the aftermath of Lam when Nathan struck.

"Trees fell on my roof and we had just had people come to take them away," he said.

"The community is in disbelief about this happening again in such a short time."

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Adam Morgan said the system tracked between Nhulunbuy and Gapuwiyuk as a catgory 2 cyclone earlier on Sunday.

"Neither felt it directly, Nhulunbuy was outside the destructive core, but experienced gale-force winds and gusts up to 100kph," he said.

"It lasted about 3.5 hours and got quite blowy.

"We've had reports of damage, trees down on houses and power out."

Gove resident Sharon Yunupingu, 46, said power was out and "branches were coming down everywhere" by midday on Sunday.

"Our boat is under water at the beach," Ms Yunupingu said on Sunday.

"There are lots of big boats washed up.

"The wind (was) really bad … really strong … but some people (were) driving around in it.

"The cars (were) just rocking."

Ms Yunupingu said she took shelter in her home with about 11 family members and friends.

Murphy Yunupingu, 54, said the group was cut off from town due to flooding of the causeway.

"We've got our supplies, we'll be right for another day or two," he said.

Trees down in Nhulunbuy after Cyclone Nathan passed through. Picture: Matt Burman Photography Source: Supplied

Commander Bruce Porter said there were no reports of injuries in Nhulunbuy or surrounding areas.

He said Nhulunbuy Airstrip was open for medical emergencies only.

"The High Voltage lines appear to have sustained some damage cutting power to the Nhulunbuy township (and Yirrkala)," Commander Porter said.

"There are no impacts on or interruptions to water supply or the sewerage system and reports so far of only one residence suffering damage as a result of a tree falling against the building.

"The town of Nhulunbuy and its surrounding suburbs appear to have escaped relatively unscathed from Tropical Cyclone Nathan."

A cyclone warning remained in place for Croker Island to Cape Shield, including Goulburn Island, Maningrida, Milingimbi, Elcho Island, Ramingining and Gapuwiyak.

A cyclone watch remained current for Croker Island to Cape Don and Point Stuart to Gunbalanya.

The weather bureau predicts Cyclone Nathan will develop into a category 3 system in the Arafura Sea on Monday.

Senior forecaster Todd Smith said it was likely Cyclone Nathan would make landfall as a category 1 between Cape Don and Goulburn Island.

Northern Territory Emergency Service director Andrew Warton said Warruwi may have to be evacuated if Nathan continued tracking towards it. He said the NTES was monitoring the system.

The cyclone is then expected to weaken on Tuesday before approaching Darwin as a tropical low.

Originally published as Cyclone Nathan slams Territory

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