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Cyclone weakens to a tropical low while bringing rain and wind to Australia's northern coast

SYDNEY (AP) — A cyclone weakened to a tropical low Tuesday while bring heavy rain and winds to Australia's Northern Territory.

The storm would continue to track west through inland parts of the Northern Territory over the coming days, the Bureau of Meteorology said.

Tropical Cyclone Megan lashed island communities for days before it made landfall late Monday near the remote town of Borroloola on the southwestern side of the Gulf of Carpentaria.

The bureau forecast wind gusts of up to 130 kph (81 mph) for the town and 24-hour rainfall exceeding 200 millimeters (7.8 inches).

A planned evacuation of some 700 residents in Borroloola was canceled as planes were unable to land. Residents were instead told to shelter in buildings capable of withstanding the cyclone’s wind gusts. Australian Defence Force personnel remained on standby to assist with recovery from Tuesday, Northern Territory Police have said.

Almost 600 millimeters (23.6 inches) of rain fell at Groote Eylandt over the weekend and the storm brought down trees.

Australia's cyclone season spans the Southern Hemisphere's warm months from November to April. In December, Tropical Cyclone Jasper, the first cyclone of the season, lashed the northern Queensland state coast.

In January, Tropical Cyclone Kirrily knocked out power for thousands of people and winds of up to 170 kph (106 mph) battered cities and towns in the same region.