Australian Iron-Ore Port of Dampier Reopens as Cyclone Passes

Western Australia’s iron-ore port of Dampier, the world’s biggest shipper of the commodity, reopened as the threat passed from Severe Tropical Cyclone Narelle off the coast.

“The cyclone has been downgraded and it’s tracking south,” said Brooke Grieves, communications adviser at the Dampier Port Authority, which reopened operations midmorning local time. There were no reports of damage from high winds in the past two days, she said.

Rio Tinto Group, the world’s second-biggest producer, suspended loading iron ore onto ships on Jan. 10 after authorities closed the Dampier and Cape Lambert ports as Narelle developed in the Indian Ocean off the northwestern coast of Western Australia. There were forecasts of winds as strong as 140 kilometers (88 miles) an hour if the storm moved close to the coast.

Earlier today, Narelle was downgraded to category 4, after earlier being graded at the highest category 5, the Bureau of Meteorology said on its website.

While the storm center isn’t forecast to make landfall, high winds, tides and heavy rain are predicted for coastal areas. The storm is now about 450 kilometers to the west of Dampier and heading south.

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