Seroja, a tropical cyclone, makes landfall in Western Australia.

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Seroja, a tropical cyclone, has struck the coast of Western Australia, leaving a path of destruction in its wake.

On Sunday night, the category three storm made landfall near the town of Kalbarri, with gusts of up to 170km/h recorded.

It later weakened to a category two storm, but the Bureau of Meteorology cautioned of “damaging wind gusts, and heavy rain” continuing.

Since the cyclone made landfall at 8 p.m. (local time) last night, homes were devastated and 26,000 people were left without electricity.

Ella Curic, a resident of Kalbarri, told ABC Radio that the town had been “flattened” with the roof of the nearby pub and police station ripped off.

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Her family were sitting at the dining room table at her brother’s house when the neighbour’s roof “came through window”.

“The glass shattered, it all happened very quickly so we grabbed the children and got to the laundry,” she said.

“It was insane, timber was being impaled through the house, it was really unnerving.”

Department of Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm said 70 percent of the town of Kalbarri had been damaged to some degree.

One Kalbarri resident told the West Australian newspaper that he was forced to hide in a pantry with his pregnant wife and their dog.

“I heard a few windows smash and some loud bangs. I went upstairs to check and felt that it was raining. I didn’t look up but I am guessing I have lost some of my roof,” Jason Regan said.

Darius Winterfield, a reporter for Channel 9 news in Kalbarri, lost the roof to his balcony and said the storm “will be devastating for many come first light”.

Until the storm struck, state Premier Mark McGowan warned that it will be “like nothing we have seen before in decades”

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As the cyclone approached the coast 500 kilometres north of Perth, residents were advised to evacuate.

Shelters were opened by emergency responders ahead of the storm’s arrival.

Last month, parts of eastern Australia were evacuated after rivers and lakes overflowed in the worst flooding in decades, displacing almost 18,000 residents.

 

– BBC / ABC

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