The Cocos (Keeling) Islands have been hit by torrential rain, recording the equivalent of Perth's average annual rainfall in just three days.

Parts of the islands have flooded, several businesses are closed and some homes are without power after more than 800mm of rain inundated the islands, which are situated 2750km north-west of Perth. In the 24 hours to 11am Saturday 249.4mm was recorded, 165.8mm to 11am Sunday and another 416.0mm to 11am today.

Shire of Cocos (Keeling) Islands chief executive Peter Clarke said Home Island, where the majority of the Cocos Malay population live, had suffered the worst flooding

"Our workers over there have taken steps to try and dig trenches to get water away into the lagoon area but it's just an ongoing thing because as quick as water's getting away it's coming down," he said.

Mr Clarke said the lagoon between Home Island and Cocos' other inhabited island, West Island, had been closed and the runway was closed because the heavy rain had caused slight bubbling within the surface of the airstrip.

He said there were coconut trees down on West Island but there was no other major damage and the cleanup would begin when the rain eased.

"The local emergency management committee have just made a decision to go onto blue alert, just to try and keep people at home rather than driving around the settlement," Mr Clarke said.

Cocos Club manager David Chaplin said he believed the floods were the worst in 100 years and everything was leaking.

Kelly Edwards, from Cocos Community Resource Centre, said the islands had experienced very strong winds overnight and this morning there were trees down and debris on the roads.

She said her home was without power but had not suffered major damage.

The downpour looks set to continue with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting the heavy rain will persist today and tomorrow morning before easing to a few squally showers and thunderstorms late tomorrow.

The West Australian

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