Tagata Pasifika The Pacific voice on New Zealand television since 1987

Samoa escapes relatively unscathed after week of ominous weather

Samoa faces another few days of occasional wind and showers but residents can rest easy knowing that the worst of the grim weather has passed.

Locals have been on high alert over the past week following updates of a potential cyclone by Samoa’s meteorological office. Families were evacuated and schools closed until Monday.

The country has had its fair share of cyclones over the years and Apia resident Bernadette Siisiialafia is one of many who has experienced it’s destruction first-hand.

“In 2013, I had the worst experience of cyclones because my family experienced flash floods. It was a flash flood that went through our village and we had to get to one corner of the house that was strong enough”

“The flood just washed off the front part of our house”

As a result, Samoans have become more vigilant by building cyclone resistant homes and emergency kits.

Business owner Francis Ah-Wong says increased disaster preparedness in Samoa is thanks in part to the work of the meteorological service.

“The weather forecast is always on-point with their weather reports and always warning everyone like 5 days, 3 days before”

The Samoa government activated the National Emergency Operations Centre on the weekend following news of Cyclone Wasi making its way South East towards the country.

No fatalities or damage was reported although flooding in some areas left residents stranded and unable to get home.

On Sunday, the cyclone made its way to Niue but warnings were later called off as the cyclone had drastically weakened overnight and was no longer considered a threat.

According to the Samoa Meteorological Service, weather conditions have improved over the last two days and there is “no threat to Samoa from any further tropical cyclones this week”.

Residents can however expect some heavy rain and vulnerable areas are being asked to remain wary of potential flooding.

 

by Anauli Karima Fai’ai

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