A wind advisory remains for Samoa despite Cyclone Ula moving away from the group.
This was the latest from the Meteorology Office last night as authorities warned that Cyclone Ula could adversely affect about 5,000 people living in the Eastern Districts of Fiji.
The storm, which earlier passed through the northern part of Tonga, is expected to pass through the Lau island group this morning.
Last night, Met Office official, Luteru Tauvale, said Samoa should remain alert.
“A very active convergence zone lies within the vicinity of Samoa, and is responsible for the rain and the fresh winds that Samoa is experiencing,” he said.
“A rain warning and wind advisory is still in effect for Samoa with the possibility of cancellation later today depending on the changes to the weather condition.”
Mr. Tauvale said the convergence zone was linked to Tropical Cyclone Ula.
“Cyclone Ula is still continuing to move south of the island of Tonga.
“It was located at about 150km West, North West of Vava’u Island this afternoon bringing destructive winds. The Cyclone is expected to move further south between Tonga and Fiji today.”
According to the latest weather forecast, a wind advisory remains in effect for Samoa due to strong westerly winds. Flooding is also possible for vulnerable areas.
Yesterday, a state of emergency was declared in Tonga as Tropical Cyclone Ula passed close by, with gusts of up to 150kmh and potential flooding.
Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva declared a state of emergency for the Vava’u and Ha’apai islands.
Power was out in Vava’u and Neiafu.
Winds could be “very destructive”, reaching speeds of up to 120-150kmh in Vava’u, with gusts of up to 200kmh, the centre warned. Squally thunderstorms and flooding in low-lying areas were expected.
The cyclone had the potential to damage property, crops and infrastructure.
Fiji was bracing for Tropical Cyclone Ula’s arrival after it crossed Tonga, the Fiji Times reported.
Ula, the first tropical storm of 2016, formed on Thursday between Tuvalu and Samoa and was initially expected to remain a category one storm as it tracked west-south-westerly. It later intensified to categoryy three as it neared Tonga.