TROPICAL Cyclone Marcus is maintaining its category 2 level as flights in and out of Darwin are cancelled and residents continue to shelter from the 130km/h winds.
“We’re telling everybody they need to be in shelter, out of the weather, off the roads – so the public is safe,” Regional Controller Warren Jackson told reporters.
Power has been cut to a number of properties and authorities have also warned heavy rain and tidal surges could bring flooding to some areas.
The Bureau of Meteorology anticipate more than 150 millimetres of rainfall with locals posting online video of trees literally rolling down main roads.
“We’re experiencing gale-force winds in the Darwin region. That is going to intensify throughout the day and probably into the evening,” Mr Jackson told reporters.
Businesses have been told to close their doors, though some opened early today to let customers purchase emergency supplies.
The cyclone is expected to move towards the Timor Sea later this evening before approaching the Kimberley coast maintaining its category two level.
“During Sunday, Tropical Cyclone Marcus is expected to approach the north Kimberley as a Category 2 strength cyclone,” the BoM update said.
— Phillippa Butt (@phillippabutt) March 17, 2018
The centre of the cyclone has sustained winds of 95km/h with gusts to 130km/h.
Currently the storm is about 95km northeast of Darwin and about 155km northeast of Dundee Beach. It is moving south southwest at 12km/h.
Various shelters have been established throughout the city as authorities warn residents to remain indoors until the storm passes.
With heavy rain already pummelling the area, it’s believed Darwin could receive as much as 200 millimetres in the next 24 hours, putting locals at risk of potential floodwaters similar to those which have been affecting North Queensland since.
Tropical Cyclone Marcus was brushing the east coast of Melville Island at 5am.
Trees and Power lines are down across Darwin, causing outages for some residents.
Power and Safety Corp said “Safety is our priority. Crews will respond when the severe conditions have eased and the all-clear has been given.”
Until then, people are encouraged to stay indoors until emergency services can reach them.
Residents around Cape Hotham and Crocker Island were advised to remain indoors and avoid travel, especially if they’re around Cobourg Peninsula and Melville Island, as coastal flooding can still occur in these areas.
Emergency Services also expect rain and wind to increase as the cyclone tracks toward Darwin.
— Bureau of Meteorology, Western Australia (@BOM_WA) March 16, 2018
Any locals wanting to take refuge in a public cyclone shelter were warned to do so before 9am this morning and to only travel if absolutely necessary.
It is understood the gale force winds have been going since early this morning and will continue to increase throughout the afternoon.
Darwin radar is showing that Cyclone #Marcus is intensifying. May be seeing an eye forming. Could be some very rough weather in Darwin during the next 12 hours. Image courtesy of BOM pic.twitter.com/TEskg1gZcU
— Derek Ortt (@DerekOrtt) March 16, 2018