Tropical Cyclone Seroja: Abrolhos Island tours cancelled this weekend amid twin cyclone threat

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Geoff VivianGeraldton Guardian
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Geraldton marina looking gloomy on Thursday.
Camera IconGeraldton marina looking gloomy on Thursday. Credit: The Geraldton Guardian, Geoff Vivian

Abrolhos Islands tour operators say cancelling tours this weekend due to Tropical cyclone Seroja is costing them dearly.

Abrolhos Adventures representative Sammi Williams said they had cancelled all trips from yesterday to Sunday.

Ms Williams said it was a major loss of business as about 60 per cent of people had asked for a refund.

“Geraldton is a ‘pass through’ for a lot of people heading up north — a lot of people only have a one or two day window so it is a loss to the company, especially during the school holidays,” she said.

Ms Williams said they may end up cancelling all trips until Wednesday which was seven trips in total.

Eco Abrolhos proprietor Jay Cox said they had cancelled this weekend’s trips and were unable to offer alternative bookings this year.

“We cancelled last year when the state went into lockdown so this is two years in a row for a lot of them,” he said.

“Because of the deferrals from last year, this year is booked out completely so we cannot get them on another trip till next year.”

Mr Cox said paying passengers had arrived in Geraldton from all over Australia who were “not happy”.

“We are going to give them some Geraldton hospitality and give them all the other tourism options to do while they are here so hopefully they won't be too disappointed,” he said.

Eco Abrolhos tour operator Jay Cox checking a crayfish off the Abrolhos Islands.
Camera IconEco Abrolhos tour operator Jay Cox checking a crayfish off the Abrolhos Islands. Credit: The West Australian, Stephen Scourfield

The effect of Tropical Cyclone Seroja on the Mid West coast remains uncertain as it continues to track to the south west off the Pilbara coast.

A Bureau of Meteorology spokesperson said it was expected to take a more southerly track while remaining well offshore from the west coast on Saturday.

“On Sunday it is expected to turn to the southeast towards the west coast and make landfall most likely later Sunday or Monday between Coral Bay and Perth,” they said.

“There is likely to be destructive winds, very heavy rainfall and higher than normal tides near to Seroja's path.”

The forecast is complicated by an additional tropical low pressure system which could also become a cyclone.

This is expected to produce an unusual phenomenon called the Fujiwhara effect, whereby the two systems typically rotate around each other.

The State Emergency Service advises people to prepare their homes, cars and other property such as boats and caravans for a possible cyclone, and to check for cyclone updates online at www.bom.gov.au .

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