Surfers take to the water at Cottesloe beach in Perth
Surfers take to the water at Cottesloe beach in Perth, to take advantage of unusually large waves created by a storm, the result of Tropical Cyclone Mangga meeting a cold front off the West Australian coast on May 24, 2020. A massive “once-in-a-decade” storm is expected to hit Australia’s entire west coast on Sunday and Monday, bringing potentially dangerous conditions and prompting authorities to place defence force units on standby. Image Credit: AFP

Sydney: About 50,000 homes and businesses were without power across Western Australia state on Sunday as a severe storm hit the coast and brought wind gusts of more than 100kmph, officials said.

Conditions were expected to worsen overnight as the storm progressed.

Jon Broomhall, acting assistant commissioner of Western Australia’s department of fire and emergency services, called the storm “a once-in-a-decade-type system.”

“Normally our storms come from the southwest, and this will come from the northwest, so it will test people’s buildings, sheds and all those unsecured items, so we’re asking people to secure property and make sure everything loose is tied down,” he said,

A Bureau of Meteorology official, James Ashley, said the weather formation was “dynamic and complex,” as a system from Cyclone Mangga in the southern Indian Ocean interacted with a cold front.

In the Perth metropolitan area, electricity supply to about 37,000 homes and businesses was impacted by the storm. A power company said some households should expect to remain without electricity overnight, particularly in places where it was not safe for crews to repair the network.

The worst of the weather was due to hit Perth later Sunday evening and Monday morning, and not ease until Monday afternoon.

“In a broad area, the southwest of the state will be hit really severely overnight, tonight and into tomorrow,” Ashley said. “Really quite severe conditions will still be experienced in Perth tomorrow morning.”

There were reports of damage to buildings, homes, fences, electricity infrastructure and trees across Perth as the storm front moved south.