Tropical cyclone cancels Darwin flights, delays shipping

A tree that was uprooted due to winds from Tropical Cyclone Marcus lies on a building in the Northen Territory capital city of Darwin in Australia on March 17, 2018.
A tree that was uprooted due to winds from Tropical Cyclone Marcus lies on a building in the Northen Territory capital city of Darwin in Australia on March 17, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

SYDNEY (REUTERS) - Flights to Australia's northern city of Darwin were cancelled on Saturday (March 17) due to Tropical Cyclone Marcus and will not resume until midnight at the earliest, with commercial shipping also disrupted.

Cyclone Marcus hit Darwin, capital of Australia's Northern Territory, with wind speeds of 130km per hour over the harbour and heavy rains on Saturday morning.

Airlines affected include Jetstar, JetAsia, Qantas, Emirates, Philippine Airlines, Airnorth, Virgin Australia and American Airlines.

International routes including Singapore and Bali were also hit.

Checks by The Straits Times show that one flight from Darwin to Singapore, Jetstar flight 3K162, which was due to leave at 9am on Saturday morning and which would have arrived at 6.25pm in the afternoon, was cancelled.

Shipping was delayed with empty live cattle export ships ready to load heading out to sea to ride out the cyclone, and cruise ship Queen Mary 2 cancelling its Darwin stop as it makes its way to Bali.