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Western Australia's ports closed as tropical low approaches


16:54, January 22, 2013

SYDNEY, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Rio Tinto is closing its Cape Lambert and Dampier ports in Western Australia's Pilbara region due to a low-pressure weather system that is expected to intensify into a tropical cyclone in the next 24 hours, the Australian Associated Press (AAP) reported on Tuesday.

The miner said the Cape Lambert facility at Port Walcott and Dampier port would be closed later on Tuesday afternoon to allow ships to move outside the affected area.

The Port Hedland harbor, Australia's highest-tonnage port, is also being closed as the tropical low approaches, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology estimated at 2:00 p.m. local time on Tuesday that the tropical low was 130 km northeast of Port Hedland and 305 km east northeast of Karratha, and moving west southwest at 11 km an hour.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services has issued a blue alert for people in or near communities between Pardoo and Mardie, including Port Hedland.

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