Cyclone Marcus map at 5am. Picture: BOM
Cyclone Marcus map at 5am. Picture: BOM

Strong winds, heavy rain as cyclone hits

TROPICAL Cyclone Marcus has been upgraded to a category 2 storm as residents find shelter from the 130km/h winds.

The Bureau of Meteorology said Cyclone Marcus had "intensified over the Van Diemen Gulf during the last few hours and is now a Category 2 strength tropical cyclone."

The cyclone is expected to pass close to Darwin today, before moving into the Timor Sea later this evening.

"During Sunday, Tropical Cyclone Marcus is expected to approach the north Kimberley as a Category 2 strength cyclone," the BoM update said.

The centre of the cyclone has sustained winds of 95km/h with gusts to 130km/h.

Currently the storm is about 95km northeast of Darwin and about 155km northeast of Dundee Beach. It is moving south southwest at 12km/h.

Various shelters have been established throughout the city as authorities warn residents to remain indoors until the storm passes.

With heavy rain already pummelling the area, it's believed Darwin could receive as much as 200 millimetres in the next 24 hours, putting locals at risk of potential floodwaters similar to those which have been affecting North Queensland since.

Tropical Cyclone Marcus was brushing the east coast of Melville Island at 5am.

Trees and Power lines are down across Darwin, causing outages for some residents.

Power and Safety Corp said "Safety is our priority. Crews will respond when the severe conditions have eased and the all-clear has been given."

Until then, people are encouraged to stay indoors until emergency services can reach them.

Residents around Cape Hotham and Crocker Island were advised to remain indoors and avoid travel, especially if they're around Cobourg Peninsula and Melville Island, as coastal flooding can still occur in these areas.

Emergency Services also expect rain and wind to increase as the cyclone tracks toward Darwin.

Any locals wanting to take refuge in a public cyclone shelter were warned to do so before 9am this morning and to only travel if absolutely necessary.

It is understood the gale force winds have been going since early this morning and will continue to increase throughout the afternoon.

Anyone requiring Emergency Service assistance should call 132 500.

In any life-threatening situation call 000.

News Corp Australia

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