Tropical cyclone heading to Samoa

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 16:41 12/12/2012
Samoa cyclone
Samoa Meteorological Service
STORM BREWING: The cyclone shown on a weather map from the Samoa Meteorological Service.

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Samoa is in line for a double hit from Cyclone Evan which formed in the South Pacific this morning.

It was named by the regional Tropical Cyclone Centre in Nadi, Fiji, after a tropical depression deepened into a cyclone over the French Wallis and Futuna Islands.

It was continuing eastward toward Samoa where heavy rain and strong north-easterly winds would start early tomorrow and increase through the day.

The capital Apia was likely to face its worst on Friday morning.

Evan is the first named cyclone of the South Pacific’s summer cyclone season.

International weather warning services were predicting the cyclone would make landfall over the southern coast of Samoa’s biggest island of Savai’i, cross the island and go out to sea, and then turn back on its course to hit the northern coast of the most populated island of Upolu.

Its projected course would take it back toward southern Fiji, heading into the Tasman Sea, west of New Zealand.

Evan was projected to bring winds to Samoa of between 185-231kmh and swells of nearly 4m.

A United Nations regional advisory said Evan was intensifying and “will become a significant tropical cyclone within the next 12 to 24 hours”.

Samoa was likely to be hit the worse on current projections while northern Tonga and eastern Fiji would be less affected.

The UN Disaster Management Office in Samoa has met to discuss the potential impact and necessary preparedness measures.

Samoa has been blessed with largely quiet cyclone seasons since suffering major economic disasters in the early 1990s.

In 1990, Cyclone Ofa killed seven people and a year later Cyclone Val passed over Samoa and then effectively stopped for five days over the islands killing 16 people and causing severe housing and agricultural damage.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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