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A BUSHFIRE is threatening homes near the WA Kimberly coast town of Broome and residents have been told to head for the beach.

The blaze has so far blackened some 15,000 hectares and houses in Coconut Wells, about 18km from Broome, are now at risk, says the Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) says.

Residents who abandoned their homes were advised to go to the beach as the blaze has also begun to close in on Morrel Park and Lullfitz.

“It may be hours before it is safe to return home so take water, food and sun protection,” FESA said in a statement.

“People who have decided to stay and defend their home should prepare for the fire.”

Residents have been told to close all doors and windows and turn off evaporative airconditioners.

The FESA says 25 volunteer fire and rescue service and bushfire service firefighters from two brigades are involved in the operation.

They saved six homes yesterday and extra crews are being flown in.

Road closures are in place and motorists have been urged to drive slowly.

Source  :  www.news.com.au
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Last night’s tsunami warning for south-eastern Australia, may have come to nothing, but it did demonstrate the worth of the motsunaminitoring system, says one expert.

The warning was announced soon after an earthquake, measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, occurred off the south coast of New Zealand’s South Island.

Chief Meteorologist Dr Chris Ryan, of the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre, says the epicentre was located in the closest earthquake source zone to Australia, a region known as the Puysegur seduction zone.

He says, despite being close to Australia, the region is far enough away that a tsunami would take more two hours to reach the coast.

Ryan says the tsunami that followed only warranted a ‘marine threat’ warning with waves rising 30 centimetres at Port Kembla, near Wollongong and no significant damage has been reported.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Seismologist David Jepsen, of Geoscience Australia, says it took two hours for waves from New Zealand to get to Tasmania.

He says the Puysegur seduction zone is a region where Australia’s tectonic plate pushes underneath the Pacific plate.

Although the Australian tsunami warning system is one of the best in the world, the system is still pretty new.

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The coast of Western Australia is getting busy: the whale watching season is underway and early sightings suggest that not only has the season started early, but there are more whales than there’ve been in decades. Commercial whaling in Western Australia finished up in 1963 with just 500 humpback whales left in the waters, but estimates now put the number of whales that will swim the 8,000 miles from Antarctica to the north of the state at around 17,000. Good work, whales!

Whale watching trips run all up and down the coast and from the capital Perth, too – grab a two-hour trip from Hillarys Boat Harbour for A$62 (Whales_in_Western_Australia$50), or head south to Albany for three-hour cruises that let you come on board again in the unlikely event of no whales showing up.

The only thing that seems to be growing faster than the whale population is the population of whale-watchers. Tourism peeps in West Oz say tourist numbers are growing by 15% every year so you need to hurry to avoid the crowds.

Source  :   www.jaunted.com

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weather perthThe first of the winter weather is expected to hit Perth next week.

Weatherzone meteorologists are forecasting wetter, windier and colder weather for most of the southern half of the state starting on Wednesday.

Weatherzone Head Meteorologist Matthew Pearce said the strength of the cold front would likely result in 20 to 30mm of rain along the coast and exposed areas stretching as far north as Geraldton and at least 5mm everywhere else.

Currently the weather is fine and sunny at 16 degrees with an expected top today of 25 degrees which will last until Sunday.

Some light showers should set in ahead of the cold front early next week.

www.watoday.com.au

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