Powerful cyclone heads for Australian mining town

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Associated Press

Posted on February 26, 2013 at 9:33 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 27 at 1:04 AM

PERTH, Australia (AP) — Australia's major iron ore port is closed and residents on a remote stretch of the country's west coast are taking shelter from a powerful cyclone.

The storm with winds gusting to 230 kilometers (140 miles) per hour at its center is expected to hit the Western Australia mining town of Port Hedland on Wednesday evening. The outer edge of the storm has already brought wind gusts of 120 kilometers (75 miles) per hour to the port.

Up to 400 millimeters (16 inches) of rain is forecast within 24 hours.

The port used by the nation's mining giants to export iron ore was closed Tuesday. Officials aren't sure when shipments can resume.

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