Frightening night for Chch pair in Samoa

04:53, Dec 14 2012
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Trees are down in the Tiavi area, Cross Island Road.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
A walkway at the airport in Apia collapsed as Cyclone Evan started pounding Samoa.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
The storm rips through Samoa.
Samoan cyclone
Cyclone Evan hits Apia.
Samoan cyclone
Cyclone Evan hits Apia.
Samoan cyclone
Cyclone Evan hits Apia.
Samoan cyclone
Cyclone Evan is seen forming in this NASA handout image.
Samoan cyclone
Evan hits Manono Island.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Cyclone Evan hits the capital of Samoa, Apia.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Flooding in the Samoan capital, Apia.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Flooding in the Samoan capital, Apia.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Flooding in Apia.
Cyclone Evan hits Samoa.
Cyclone Evan hits Samoa.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Flooding during Cyclone Evan.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Swimming pool at Pasefika Inn in Apia.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
In front of the Pasefika Inn.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Infront of the Central Bank of Samoa building. All pulu trees in downtown Apia have been uprooted.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Flooding in Lepea, on the island of Upolu.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
A view from Radio Polynesia at Savalalo
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Damage in the Samoan capital, Apia, from Cyclone Evan.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Damage in the Samoan capital, Apia, from Cyclone Evan.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
This bridge was badly hit by floods.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Flooding in downtown Apia from Cyclone Evan.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Damage in the Samoan capital, Apia, from Cyclone Evan.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Damage in the Samoan capital, Apia, from Cyclone Evan.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Damage in the Samoan capital, Apia, from Cyclone Evan.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Damage in the Samoan capital, Apia, from Cyclone Evan.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Damage in the Samoan capital, Apia, from Cyclone Evan.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Damage in the from Cyclone Evan in the Samoan capital Apia.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Damage in the from Cyclone Evan in the Samoan capital Apia.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Damage from Cyclone Evan in the Samoan capital Apia.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
The projected path of Cyclone Evan.
Samoa, cyclone Evan
Devastation in Samoa.
Samoa, cyclone Evan
Devastation from cyclone Evan

A Christchurch couple caught up in Samoa's cyclone spent a sleepless night as wind and rain battered their house. 

Cyclone Evan has intensified this morning over Samoa but has turned north west and is likely to spare the capital Apia a second battering.

The storm, now a Category Three, killed at least three people - including two children - yesterday.

Christchurch man Fred Filipe, who travels to the Samoan capital for work, told The Press this morning that it had been a long night without sleep for him and wife Yvonne Filipe. 

Their house in Vaivase, about five minutes from Apia, was undamaged, although there were a few leaks.

Being uphill, they had escaped major flooding, but they did not have power or water. 

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All the trees in the plantation surrounding their house had been uprooted and the strength of the wind was "frightening", Yvonne Filipe said.

The wind and rain had died down since 2am but they were preparing for the storm to hit again this morning.

The cyclone has already inflicted massive damage on Apia, while details on the fatalities are not yet available.

In its latest bulletin the Samoan Meteorological Service said Evan was moving north at 16kmh, nearly double its speed last night and was 55 kilometres north-north east of Apia.

"TC (tropical cyclone) Evan is expected to move west-southwest and may relocate at about 39 miles (63km) north-northwest of Apia at 5pm this evening."

Winds of 113-153kmh are expected.

Forecasters said the storm could be heading toward Samoa's biggest island of Savai'i and then northern Tonga, the French islands of Wallis and Fatuna and Fiji.

Phone lines are still down in Samoa, and the country's high commissioner in New Zealand has been struggling to get updated information. 

The Filipes were keeping their family in Christchurch updated by cellphone, but expected the battery to run down soon.

They were planning to return to Christchurch next Friday.

The Press