Cyclone makes landfall north of Port Hedland as a powerful category 4 storm

Tropical Cyclone Lua, the fifth cyclone of the Australian wind season, made landfall over the weekend as a category 4 storm. It has not caused any serious damage despite passing through Australia’s resource-rich northwest, according to reports.

The intense cyclone passed 100km north of Port Hedland, the region’s largest iron ore terminal, without any damage to major infrastructure or injuries reported. Both the anchorage and port have been reopened.

Some oil fields have restarted while production remains offline at other oil and gas facilities.

According to AIR, the cities of Port Hedland and Broome were both outside the main area of strong winds, which helped to mitigate most of the wind damage.

At the expected wind speeds, wind-related structural damage was not expected to be significant. However, damage to the roof frames and roof coverings of homes and businesses was possible, while windows and cladding on engineered structures could be damaged by impact from debris.

Most commercial or industrial insured structures on Australia’s west coast are made of concrete and steel, which perform well.

According to AIR, Cyclone Lua’s track bears similarities to that of Cyclone Laurence, which crossed the sparsely populated Pilbara coast in 2009 as a Category 4 cyclone but caused minimal impact to the insurance industry.

The cat modelling agency does not expect significant insured losses from Lua.

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