Australia braces for impact from rare twin tropical storm

Australia is bracing for a rare twin tropical storm — Cyclone Seroja and a second Cyclone Odette.

The twin systems are pivoting around each other, with Odette weakening but nearing the coast which is set to make landfall on Sunday evening.

While, Seroja is expected to bring widespread impacts across the region Sunday evening local time and overnight as it progresses southeastward over land.

Just days ago, this same cyclone wreaked havoc over Indonesia. Strong winds and heavy rains triggered flash floods and landslides.

Thousands of people were displaced, and more than 100 homes were severely damaged when the cyclone hit that country.

Tropical cyclones impact the northern coast of Australia every year. However, the south-central coast of Western Australia do not see tropical cyclones as frequently, especially with the strength of Seroja.

Seroja early Sunday had winds around 110 kph, which is equivalent to a high-end tropical storm in the Atlantic Ocean. The storm is expected to strengthen as it accelerates toward the coast and could reach 120 kph, which is equivalent to a minimal Category 1 hurricane in the Atlantic.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) in Australia has issued a hurricane-force wind warning for the Gascoyne Coast. Storm-force wind warnings were issued for Ningaloo Coast and Geraldton Coast.

“People on the coast between Coral Bay and Lancelin should prepare now for a period of destructive winds that could cause significant damage to homes and property, and heavy rain that could lead to flash flooding,” the Bureau of Meteorology warned in a tropical cyclone watch issued Friday.

Residents along the western coast should also be prepared for dangerous surf, coastal erosion and storm surge.

It has been more than five years since this area of West Australia has had impacts from a tropical system.

In 2015, Tropical Cyclone Olwyn brought heavy rain and strong winds to many of the same areas expected to see impacts from Seroja.