Cyclone Seroja damage bill estimated at $200 million with 115 homes destroyed

Cyclone Seroja damage bill estimated at $200 million with 115 homes destroyed

15th April 2021 Off By adpublisher

Early estimates suggest the damage bill from ex-tropical cyclone Seroja could be between $100-200 million, with 115 homes rendered unlivable, mostly in Kalbarri and Northampton.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will tour the natural disaster zone on Friday with authorities estimating 170 residential properties and businesses have been severely damaged and 491 moderately or slightly damaged.

Early estimates indicate 115 homes in the Mid West and Gascoyne regions have been destroyed. Credit:Getty Images

Department of Fire and Emergency Commissioner Darren Klemm said the clean-up and recovery from the category 3 system, which crossed the coast on Sunday evening, continued with new threats of asbestos exposure and homelessness emerging.

“There’s a lot of people towing caravans into Kalbarri and setting themselves up in a caravan where their house is damaged,” he said.

“Also friends and family taking people in, but that can’t last for two years, particularly where homes have to be rebuilt, so it’s very much short term to medium term and then we will have to look at some longer term options for them.

“There’s relatively small numbers in the evacuation centre in Geraldton … the initial priority is to move the people out of those evacuation centres, there’s about 30 to 40 people, into hotel/motel accommodation in the short term.”

Concerns about exposed asbestos have been raised by locals.

Concerns about exposed asbestos have been raised by locals. Credit:Getty Images

A breakdown of houses deemed unliveable revealed Kalbarri lost 44 homes, Northampton 39, Morowa 11, Minganew 10, Mullewa 3, Three Springs 2 and Eganu 1.

That number could rise with 250 properties – or about half the calls for assistance – yet to be assessed.