Tagata Pasifika The Pacific voice on New Zealand television since 1987

School closures and evacuations as heavy storms hit Samoa

Samoa is bracing for more wild weather today as gusty winds and heavy downpour continue to batter the country with locals fearing it could develop into a cyclone.

Flooding on the streets of Apia and nearby villages caused major traffic delays yesterday, while parked cars sat partially submerged underwater.

Many families living in coastal areas have been evacuated and government-operated schools have been closed until Thursday.

The storm also brought flooding to neighbouring American Samoa while strong winds measuring up to 100 km/h caused power outages across the country. Travel to and from the island has been temporarily cancelled.

Samoa’s meteorological service says both countries have been subject to two tropical disturbances and a low pressure system to the north west is expected to travel towards the islands bringing with it “heavy rainfall and strong winds at times”. Locals are being warned of poor visibility, flying objects, slippery roads and landslides.

The storm has a low to moderate potential of developing into a tropical cyclone in the next 24 to 48 hours.

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