Emergency Message: Severe Tropical Cyclone Nathan

The U.S. Consulate General in Sydney alerts U.S. citizens that Severe Tropical Cyclone Nathan is expected to make landfall in Far North Queensland on Friday, March 20 as a Category 4 Storm.  The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has issued a tropical storm warning from Coen to Cairns, including the cities of Cooktown and Port Douglas.   Destructive high winds, dangerous storm tides, and heavy rainfall are expected to begin late Thursday evening.  All U.S. citizens living in or traveling to the area should closely monitor local weather reports, follow directions from local officials, and take other appropriate action as needed.

Tropical Cyclone Nathan is currently a Category 3 storm located approximately 192 nautical miles northeast of Cairns.  The cyclone is forecast to intensify as it approaches the north Queensland coast and reach Category 4 strength by the time it makes landfall between Cape Melville and Cape Tribulation early on Friday morning.

We advise U.S. citizens to check the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website for the latest weather information.  Cyclone preparation information is also available.

For emergency assistance, dial 000 for police, fire, and ambulance services.

For assistance with storm damage, rising flood water, fallen trees on buildings or roof damage, call the Queensland State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500.

We strongly encourage that U.S. citizens traveling abroad enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to contact you in an emergency.  If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution.  For additional information, refer to the Traveler’s Checklist on the State Department’s website.

You will find additional information on cyclones and storm preparedness on the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ Know Before You Go website.  Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions.  You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to have travel information at your fingertips.

If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, the emergency number for the U.S. Consulate General in Sydney is +61-2-4422-2201.