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Reports Of 'Panic Buying' As Cyclone Veronica Approaches

Heavy rain, destructive winds, flooding and empty supermarket shelves… welcome to Cyclone Veronica.

WA’s Pilbara coast is girding their loins for the impact of the cyclone on Sunday; however, it’s still too far off for the Bureau to pinpoint the crossing point.

"Everywhere along the Pilbara coast should be prepared,” Bureau of Meteorology spokesman James Ashley said. “But the most likely area is the central part of the Pilbara coast."

On Friday morning, category 4 Veronica was estimated to be 385 kilometres northwest of Port Hedland and is moving south-west at 9km/h.

Local towns and communities (including Port Hedland, South Hedland, Wickham, Roebourne, Point Samson, Karratha, Dampier Barrow Island, Pannawonica and Marble Bar, which are now on Blue Alert) have been locking down all week, sending home non-essential FIFO workers, clearing anchorages, berths and harbours, and airports are bracing to close.

Tourists have also been urged to leave.

But it’s not just the weather that’s pumping.

Residents have wasted no time in stocking up, however the Town of Port Hedland has urged locals to be respectful amid some reports of ‘panic buying’ at Coles and Woolworths.

Once a Red Alert is issued, shops close and residents must stay indoors.

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Pics of Coles Karratha courtesy of Mel Garbin

How Veronica Is Tracking

Gales with gusts to 100km/h may develop between Pardoo and Mardie on Friday evening, and may extend farther east to Wallal and adjacent inland areas later on Saturday.

Destructive winds with gusts exceeding 125km/h are forecast to develop along the coast between Dampier and Pardoo later on Saturday.

The last category four tropical cyclone to impact the WA coast was Christine in December 2013.

Veronica is the third tropical cyclone for the season.

with AAP

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