Iraq Bulletin

ADF unable to land in Borroloola as cyclone Megan intensifies

As Tropical Cyclone Megan barrels toward the Borroloola community, plans for evacuation have been abruptly suspended. The Australian Defence Force (ADF) planes, crucial for evacuating residents, are unable to land due to worsening weather conditions. The situation has left approximately 700 individuals in Borroloola compelled to take shelter as the Category 3 cyclone approaches, bringing with it the threat of destructive winds and heavy rainfall.

ADF unable to land in Borroloola as cyclone Megan intensifies

Chief Minister Eva Lawler announced the suspension of evacuation efforts at 1:30 PM local time, citing the inability of ADF planes to safely land. She assured the community that measures were in place to ensure safety, highlighting structures such as the police station and health center, which are rated to withstand the intensity of a Category 3 cyclone. Despite initial plans for evacuation, the decision to suspend was made in consideration of the safety of both residents and emergency responders.

Emergency Services Minister Brent Potter emphasized the dynamic nature of the situation, indicating that evacuation attempts would be reevaluated once conditions permit safe travel. He acknowledged the frustration among residents, particularly the medically vulnerable, who remain stranded due to the suspension of evacuation operations.

The delayed completion of the Borroloola cyclone shelter has further exacerbated concerns among locals. Despite a $7 million commitment and ongoing construction efforts, the shelter remains unfinished, leaving residents without a crucial refuge during severe weather events. Former Chief Minister Shane Stone denounced the situation, labeling the absence of a shelter in the community as “a disgrace.”

Mayor Tony Jack expressed concern for the community’s welfare, highlighting the collaborative efforts of council staff and emergency services to assist residents in finding shelter. With memories of the recent isolation caused by Cyclone Lincoln still fresh, Borroloola residents face another challenging period as Cyclone Megan approaches.

NT Police Superintendent Sonia Kennon urged residents to remain in safe locations and avoid attempting to leave the community independently. She emphasized the importance of adhering to emergency directives and awaiting further updates from authorities.

Despite ongoing challenges, efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of Borroloola residents continue. The ADF remains on standby to provide assistance once weather conditions permit, while emergency services monitor the situation closely. As Tropical Cyclone Megan approaches, the community braces for the impact of yet another severe weather event.

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