Cyclone Ilsa, described by some as "the most powerful storm of the decade", will hit the land in the next few hours: already winds at 260 km/h
Sylvie Claire / April 15, 2023
The Category 4 tropical cyclone that formed over the ocean to the west of Australia is strengthening and is expected to upgrade to Category 5, according to the Australian weather forecast.
By Thursday morning, Cyclone Ilsa was about 250 kilometers off the coast of Western Australia and the system was classified as a Level 4. Moving at a speed of 16 kilometers per hour (km/h), it was causing gusts up to 260 km/h.
It is now expected that Ilsa will reach the mainland in the evening and will be even more intense, becoming a category 5 cyclone.
This is awarded when the gusts exceed 279 km/h, according to the classification of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, which then describes a system "extremely dangerous with widespread destruction ».
Ilsa is described by some as "the most powerful storm of the decade" to make landfall.
Approximately 700 kilometers of coastline are on alert south of the tourist town of Broome to the mining community of Port Hedland. Many vulnerable people and tourists in the areas at risk have already been evacuated to Broome.
While a weather station has already recorded winds of 260km/h west of the city, residents are being encouraged to go to evacuation centers set up along the coast.
The main road from Broome to Port Hedland has been closed to traffic by authorities for more than 500 kilometers.