Update, 7.30pm: Fears about the potential impact of Cyclone Narelle on Western Australia’s north are easing, although the category four storm is continuing to move closer.
On the latest update from WA’s Department of Fire and Emergency services, an all-clear was issued for Roebourne, Wickham, Point Samson, Karratha and Dampier.
A blue alert remains for people in or near the coastal and island communities from Mardie to Coral Bay including Onslow, Exmouth and Coral Bay.
At 5.44pm, Cyclone Narelle was estimated to be 475km north northwest of Exmouth and 790 kilometres north of Carnarvon.
It is moving south west at 12 kilometres per hour. The cyclone is expected to continue moving to the southwest and pass west of the Northwest Cape over the weekend.
Ningaloo Reef Resort manager Paul Sullivan said they would consult with the Department of Fire and Emergency Services before deciding to evacuate.
“We have a 22-seater bus and other staff cars so if we have to go we would make our way down this afternoon or tomorrow morning,” Mr Sullivan said.
“At the moment, from my last look at the BOM website and information from DFES, it’s heading south west and I’m of the belief that it will go past us on Sunday.”
“Over the last few days we’ve started to secure a number of things that are not within a storage area and we will be continuing to do that today.”
“Basically what we are going to try and do today is clean up any areas that may have excess of items.”
Mr Sullivan also said that yesterday they had purchased essential items such as rope, torches and candles.
Gales with gusts to 100km/h could develop in coastal areas between Mardie and Exmouth later on today, then extend south to Coral Bay later on Saturday, forecasters are warning.
Winds are likely to increase in the Exmouth area on Saturday, with damaging wind gusts to 125km/h possible tomorrow night if the cyclone tracks closer to the coast.
On Sunday, gales may extend south to Carnarvon and winds along the west Pilbara coast should ease from the east later in the day.
Tides along the west Pilbara coast are also likely to rise above the normal high-tide mark tonight and tomorrow night and Saturday night, with flooding of low-lying coastal areas possible.