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Living in Perth Is Perth prone to natural disasters

Living in Perth: Is Perth prone to natural disasters? 

Natural disasters are among the biggest hazards in anyone’s life. They’re unpredictable, but their impact on communities and the environment can be drastic and far-reaching.

While no city is entirely free from the risks of experiencing a natural disaster, knowing if your city is prone to major disasters and which disasters you have to prepare for can help you mitigate their effects.

In this guide, we will discuss how prone Perth is to natural disasters and the disasters you have to prepare for when living in the city. We’ll also take a peek at the worst natural disasters that struck Perth and its nearby towns.

Is Perth prone to natural disasters?

Perth is generally considered less prone to natural disasters compared to other parts of Australia. However, it’s not entirely immune to certain hazards or natural disasters, as it has its fair share of traumatising events.

Although it has experienced earthquakes, hurricanes, and flooding, they aren’t as frequent as in other cities. Most earthquakes that happen in Western Australia are recorded in towns far from Perth, so there isn’t a significant effect on the city. 

That said, it’s still important to know the local protocols during natural disasters to ensure their safety. With global warming threatening the Earth, how safe Perth will be with natural disasters as years pass is unpredictable.

Common Natural Disasters in Perth

While Perth isn’t at a huge risk of facing many natural disasters, there are still some disasters that it can experience throughout the year. Here are some of the most common natural disasters that you may experience while living in Perth.



Heatwaves, or long periods of extremely hot weather, are quite common in Australia’s sunniest city. Perth has hot, dry weather most times of the year, and temperatures soar extremely high during the summer, leading to heatwaves.

During heatwaves in Perth, temperatures usually stay at mid-30 degrees Celsius for days or weeks. In severe cases, the temperature can go over 40 degrees and cause heat-related illnesses to the city’s residents.

Residents are usually advised to stay indoors during heatwaves, and most events are cancelled. While a heatwave may not sound as dangerous as flooding or earthquakes, there have been numerous deaths because of it, so it’s always best to take precautions.



With heat waves hitting the city and the presence of various vegetation, like grasslands, shrublands, and forests, Perth is at high-risk of experiencing bushfires. It’s hot, dry summers that create a condition conducive for fire to ignite and spread through the city.

Eucalyptus trees, which are very common throughout various forests in Perth, also make bushfires spread faster. Their bark contains oil that makes the fire more intense, causing the fire to spread to other vegetation near the tree.

Just a few days into 2024, more than 40 bushfires were already reported in Western Australia, most of them just 60 kilometres north of Perth. Some residents were immediately asked to relocate as the firefighters tried to control the fire.



Unlike other cities and towns in Australia, where it snows in winter, Perth experiences rain and occasional storms. These storms bring in heavy rainfall, strong winds, and occasional hail, damaging various properties and risking many lives.

Perth also experiences thunderstorms, especially when autumn is approaching. During a thunderstorm, Perth residents can experience power outages for a few days because of falling trees or damaged electrical lines. 

Although storms and rainfalls can be pretty bad, Perth isn’t highly prone to flooding. Other regions in Western Australia are typically more at risk of experiencing heavy floods than the Greater Perth area.

The Worst Natural Disasters in Perth and Nearby Area

Cyclone Alby

Cyclone Alby

Cyclone Alby was a strong tropical cyclone that hit Western Australia, including Perth, in April 1978. It was the worst tropical cyclone in Western Australia’s history, causing the loss of five lives and flooding in some towns.

Alby reached Category 5 intensity on the Australian Tropical Cyclone scale, the maximum category for tropical cyclones. It brought extremely strong winds, causing bushfires in various areas to spread faster.

In Perth, the wind was recorded at 143 km/h, one of the strongest in the city’s history. The city’s roads were blocked by various objects, while the telephone lines and electricity were shut down for days.

Perth Hailstorm of 2010

Perth Hailstorm of 2010

On March 22, 2010, Perth was hit by a superstorm that produced large hailstones, with some reports indicating hailstones were as large as tennis balls in some areas. The hailstones smashed windows, roofs, and cars, resulting in huge losses.

The hailstorm also brought in heavy rainfall that caused flooding in different parts of the metropolitan area and a landslide in Kings Park, prompting residents to evacuate. Powerlines were struck by lightning, leaving over 150,000 homes without power.

The total damage was expected to be around $1.08 billion, and insurance claims reached $200 million within three days. Premier Colin Barnett declared the hailstorm a natural disaster, allowing the government to use state funds for relief operations.

Waroona-Yarloop Bushfires

Waroona-Yarloop Bushfires

In January 2016, a series of devastating wildfires occurred in Waroona and Yarloop, towns a few hundred kilometres away from Perth. The fires were ignited by lightning strikes on January 5, 2016.

The fires spread rapidly and were so intense that they burnt a total area of 69,165 hectares of land and 166 houses. It took the firefighters 17 days to completely extinguish the fires.

The entire town of Yarloop, a historical town 120 km south of Perth, was destroyed because of the fire. The fire burnt down historical buildings like the Yarloop Town Hall, Yarloop Hospital, Yarloop Workshops, and more.

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