Feb. 26 - Residents are evacuating as northwestern Australia prepares for a direct hit from a powerful cyclone. Lindsey Parietti reports.
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Gusts of wind, rain and rough waters pummel northwestern Australia - signs that Cyclone Rusty is approaching.
Known locally as "cyclone alley", the town of Port Hedland is directly in the storm's path and began evacuating residents on Tuesday.
The cyclone is expected to bring torrential rains and winds up to 200 kph, or 125 mph.
(SOUNDBITE)(English) BUREAU OF METEOROLOGY WESTERN AUSTRALIA REGIONAL DIRECTOR, MIKE BERGIN SAYING:
"Already we have red alerts issued for Port Hedland and communities such as Port Hedland are likely to be in those conditions for up to 36 hours and maybe even longer. It's going to be a long, protracted and quite dangerous experience."
Residents hit the local liquor store and stocked up on groceries ahead of the storm.
(SOUNDBITE)(English) UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN IN THE SUPERMARKET SAYING:
REPORTER'S QUESTION: ("Bit nervous?") "A little bit. This is the biggest cyclone I've been through. So, it's more for their sakes than ours."
Shops were boarded up and the town's seaport was shut down, as well as offshore oil and gas fields.
Cyclone Rusty could strengthen to a category four storm - one of the strongest on the cyclone scale - by the time it reaches the port.
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