(Sydney) A powerful tropical cyclone, accompanied by record gusts of up to 288 km / h according to the meteorological services, battered Friday on virtually uninhabited areas of Western Australia where many mines are located. gold, iron and copper.
Cyclone Ilsa, which reached Category 5 (the highest), made landfall near the Indian Ocean village of Pardoo, 19 hours drive northeast of Perth. It heads for the desert interior of Western Australia on Friday.
No casualties were reported, with major population centers spared. “We have not received any requests for assistance,” emergency services spokesman Peter Sotton told ABC.
The owners of a petrol station and a caravan park in Padoo said on social media that their business had suffered major damage.
According to the meteorological services, the cyclone was accompanied at the time of its landfall by sustained winds of 218 km / h on average, with gusts of 288 km / h. This is a record for Australia, where the highest wind speed recorded so far was 194 km/h, during Hurricane George in 2007.
Ilsa was downgraded to Category 3 while over land, with winds reaching up to 165 km/h. The emergency services maintained the “red alert” in areas likely to be crossed by the cyclone.
Many iron, copper and gold mines, some of the largest in Australia, are located in this region.
Some, like the Newcrest gold mine in the small town of Telfer, have slowed operations as a precaution. The port of Port Hedland, a major iron ore shipping hub, closed earlier this week as the cyclone approached.
According to ANZ Bank, one of Australia’s largest financial institutions, the closure could disrupt the global supply of iron ore, used for steelmaking.