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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Darwin residents on cyclone watch, Australia - 24th Dec 2011

Gale-force winds and heavy rain are expected to hit Darwin as the Northern Territory coast braces itself for a tropical cyclone.

Localised flooding is expected over the northern Darwin-Daly, Arnhem and northern Roper-McArthur districts over the Christmas weekend, the Bureau of Meteorology in Darwin warned.

Darwin residents and those in coastal areas west of Dundee beach to Nhulunbuy and inland to Jabiru are being told to be on cyclone watch.

Meanwhile a cyclone warning has been issued for the coastal areas from Cape Fourcroy to Milingimbi, including the Tiwi Islands, Cape Don and Croker Island, with people being warned to expect wind gusts up to 110km/h.

Dr Richard Wardle, supervising meteorologist in Darwin, said the probability rating of a cyclone was high, which meant there was a 50 to 100 per cent chance of one hitting.

"If conditions are favourable today it could develop into a cyclone as early as this afternoon," Dr Wardle said on Saturday.

He said it was going to be "very windy and very wet" with some damage to houses likely.

"It's very scary for people that are involved. We could see boats dragging their moorings.

"Anything that's not tied down or that is left out in the open could become flying debris." Source