2 powerful cyclones spinning toward north Australian coast

Cyclone Veronica is seen over Western Australia and Cyclone Trevor over Northern Territory in this satellite image by Nasa

2 powerful cyclones spinning toward north Australian coast

Thousands of people were evacuated from small communities on the NT's coast by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) on Thursday and flown to Darwin, the NT's capital city as Tropical Cyclone Trevor bears down on the region, according to The Australian. "We're getting five metres above so we're expecting coastal flooding", he said.

Rain has been falling in the region, and rivers are expected to rise significantly.

He earlier said in a video shared on the town's Facebook page that residents should stay indoors in the strongest and safest part of their homes.

Meanwhile in the west, the category 4 system of Cyclone Veronica was nearing Port Hedland late on Saturday night.

A spokesman for the Western Australia branch of the BOM said Veronica was expected to slow down as it approached the coast near the mining centre of Port Hedland with the "potential for a very risky storm surge" at a time when tides are already near their high for the year.

Karratha Mayor Peter Long said he was concerned the tidal surge could cause flooding.

The Bureau of Meteorology has warned that the system poses the highest risk the region has seen from a cyclone in the past decade, particularly with a sustained risky storm surge.

The forecaster said Veronica was unique because it was a slow-moving system that would bring a prolonged period of destructive winds and heavy rain. "We're expecting a prolonged period of heavy rainfall so flooding is going to be an issue".

That surge will coincide with high tides, a combination which is likely to see much of Port Hedland inundated by flood waters.

Western Australia's fire and emergency services chief superintendent praised the community for their response to the cyclone but said it was a significant event.

The system was expected to remain a category 4 on Sunday, weakening to a category 2 on Monday.

According to the latest cyclone update from Australia's Bureau of Meteorology, Veronica is now located 365 kilometres north northwest of Port Hedland.

In a Western Australian first, new technology from The University of Western Australia has been deployed to measure the impact of Tropical Cyclone Veronica on ocean waves and the WA coastline.

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