Home Featured Tropical Cyclone Megan makes landfall in NT as dangerous conditions prevent evacuations | Northern Territory

Tropical Cyclone Megan makes landfall in NT as dangerous conditions prevent evacuations | Northern Territory

Tropical Cyclone Megan makes landfall in NT as dangerous conditions prevent evacuations | Northern Territory

Tropical Cyclone Megan has made landfall in the Northern Territory and will move inland towards the Kimberley region before weakening to a tropical low on Tuesday.

In a post on X on Tuesday evening, the Bureau of Meteorology said the severe tropical cyclone had made landfall, crossing the coast southeast of Port McArthur at 3.30pm ACST (5pm AEST).

NT residents in the remote fishing town of Borroloola were left stranded after attempting to flee the cyclone on Monday, with evacuation aircraft prevented from landing due to dangerous weather conditions.

The NT chief minister, Eva Lawler, said on Monday that about 700 people would be evacuated from Borroloola using two RAAF planes, but worsening weather prevented the aircraft from picking up passengers.

Police encouraged residents to seek shelter in houses that are new, on high ground, and have been built to code, in preparation for the cyclone.

The current cyclone warning zone extends from Port Roper in the NT to Mornington Island in Queensland, and inland to Borroloola, the McArthur River mine and Robinson River.

Coastal areas already saw destructive winds and floods and dangerous storm tides as the cyclone neared the mainland, and the BoM expects more damage in coming days.

“The communities that are down through those Carpentaria and Barkly areas could be seeing some damage. The winds are certainly strong enough to be blowing over trees and doing damage to dwellings,” spokesperson Patch Clapp said.

The BoM also has a flood watch warning over much of the NT’s east, with floods at risk of increasing as heavy rains move inland.

Borroloola and other regions hit by the cyclone are expected to see rainfall of up to 200m, with up to 300mm forecast for locations at the system’s core.

The town is expected to face flooding from the McArthur River on Tuesday.

Police say they will assess the need for evacuation on Tuesday once the cyclone has passed and planes can land. The ADF aircraft will remain in the NT to provide further assistance if required.

Earlier on Monday afternoon, locals said they felt frustrated.

“We can’t get out by road any more. The road’s flooded so the aircraft need to come in for these people to be able to fly out,” local council services manager Paul Avery said.

“We’re hoping the aircraft will come in and get [people] up to Darwin where they’ll feel safer.”

Local resident Lizzie Hogan said the community was more fed up than anxious about the plane’s delay.

“They’re up there, standing out there, all squashed up and there’s no food, no space for them to sit … the old people went back to the old people’s home because they were there for the last two hours,” she said.

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“Nobody knows what’s happening.”

Service station co-owner Bec McGuinness, who lives 40km from Borroloola in King Ash Bay, said her community has been evacuating for the last couple of days.

“Police came out and asked us to go so we left,” she said.

Intense rainfall brings flash flooding to south-east Queensland – video

“We prepared, tied things down, moved loose items – hopefully everything will be OK.”

McGuinness drove to Darwin on Sunday morning and estimated 70 people had chosen to stay behind.

Many more have moved to Cape Crawford, just out of the cyclone’s way, in the hope of getting back to town quickly after the storm has passed.

BoM expects Megan will weaken once over the mainland, easing back to a category two as it tracks southwest overnight, passing just south of Port McArthur, Borroloola and the McArthur River Mine.

The system is then expected to fall to a tropical low by Tuesday night as it moves west through the Northern Territory.

Dangerous winds have now eased over Groote Eylandt, off the NT coast, which saw almost 700mm of rain over the weekend as the cyclone passed through.

The Gulf of Carpentaria coastal region has been hit with multiple cyclones in recent months.

However, Tropical Cyclone Megan is only the fifth named system in Australian waters this season, below the average of about 10.