Cyclone Blake lashes northern Australia with heavy rain

SYDNEY - A tropical cyclone brought heavy rain to the northwestern coast of Australia on Tuesday (Jan 7) and gusts of 102 kilometres per hour to the town of Broome, causing minimal damage.

The Bureau of Meteorology said Blake had brought 15 centimetres of rain in 24 hours to the town of 14,000 people, but had not become a damaging category two storm as expected.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Service said there had been four reports of damage, including flooding of properties and a tree that fell on a car.

Blake is the first tropical cyclone of the season and became a category one storm on Monday.

Authorities had warned residents to "prepare for cyclonic weather and organise an emergency kit, including (a) first aid kit, torch, portable radio, spare batteries, food and water".

The cyclone is not expected to have an impact on the bush fires currently raging in other parts of the massive country, but could signal a change in hot and dry conditions that have fuelled the fires.