Australia is evacuating about 2,000 people from part of northern Australia ahead of a powerful cyclone expected to hit on Saturday.
Evacuees were being moved by air and road on Thursday from remote, mostly indigenous communities on the Northern Territory’s east coast to the territory’s capital, Darwin.
Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said Cyclone Trevor, with winds gusting up to 160 miles an hour, was expected to bring heavy rainfall and a dangerous storm surge.
Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner said a state of emergency had been declared in part of the west coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria, where Trevor is expected to make landfall.
It is the largest cyclone-related evacuation in the Northern Territory since Cyclone Tracy hit Darwin in 1974, leaving 71 people dead and forcing the evacuation of 30,000 people.
Mr Gunner said the decision to evacuate the communities in the cyclone’s path was due to their remoteness.
Almost 1,000 residents had been evacuated by late Thursday from the towns of Groote Eylandt and nearby Numbulwar, Mr Gunner said.
Most of Borroloola’s 900 residents were expected to be evacuated, along with several smaller communities. Most would be housed in temporary accommodations in Darwin, Mr Gunner said.
Trevor earlier crossed the Cape York peninsula in northern Queensland state, causing flooding, closing roads and knocking out power. No fatalities have been recorded.