Tropical Cyclone Christine made landfall around midnight as a category three of five storm, packing winds in excess of 170 kilometres per hour and heavy rains that cut power to several towns, brought down trees and damaged homes.

Christine weakened to a category two heading inland, with destructive wind gusts of between 110-130 kilometres per hour.

But a red alert remained in place for towns in the storm's path including Port Hedland, Karratha and Dampier, home to BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto's flagship iron ore mining and port operations.

A red alert requires people to stay indoors.

"It is important that residents understand that very dangerous conditions are continuing. Communities in the north west will remain on a red alert until it is safe to declare an all-clear," a department of fire and emergency services statement said.

"People need to continue to stay indoors and shelter either in a welfare center or in the strongest, safest part of a building."


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