Cyclone tears through homes in west Australia

Weather Headlines

Authorities surveying the damage caused by a destructive cyclone that tore through several towns on Australia’s western coast, said the area resembled a “war zone.”

Tropical Cyclone Seroja crossed the Western Australia state coast south of the tourist town of Kalbarri with winds gusting up to 106 mph shortly after dark Sunday, officials said Monday.

Around 70% of buildings in Kalbarri, a town of 1,400 people 360 miles north of the state capital Perth, had been damaged, officials said.

Other coastal towns sustained less damage.

The damage was worse in some parts of Kalbarri than others, but the whole town had been impacted, officials said.

Powerlines and trees were toppled, homes lost roofs and streets were strewn with debris.

There have been no reports of serious injuries.

Government utility Western Power reported 31,500 customers had lost power.

Such powerful cyclones are rare in subtropical Australia.

The last comparable cyclone in the region struck in 1956.

Cyclone Seroja caused flooding and landslides that killed at least 174 people and left 48 missing in Indonesia and East Timor last week.

It lost power and was downgraded to a tropical low before blowing out to sea near Esperance on Monday.

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