‘We could’ve been better prepared’

By Ulimasao Fata ,

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THE AFTERMATH: Tree trunks and logs in the lagoon of Fagali’i-tai. Photo: Misiona Simo.

THE AFTERMATH: Tree trunks and logs in the lagoon of Fagali’i-tai. Photo: Misiona Simo.

The authorities could have done a better job of warning members of the public about the threat of Cyclone Gita.

That’s the opinion of Siatua Pulemagafa from Fagali’i-tai who believes it is better for the Government to bombard people with warnings than to leave them unprepared.

Speaking to the Sunday Samoan yesterday, Mr. Pulemagafa said there were not enough warnings from the Samoa Meteorological Office about the cyclone.

He says he only heard about the warning on Thursday and Friday, and the worst part was when the Meteorological Office kept saying there was nothing to worry about.

Mr. Pulemagafa said his family did not prepare for any cyclone until late Friday night.

“It was really scary how the winds sounded last night and I believe that if it continued, it would have been much worse,” he said.

“I was up all night when Tropical Cyclone Gita came and my family was preparing for what could happen next.”

Mr. Pulemagafa was sad to see that all the shops were closed because of Tropical Cyclone Gita.

“This is one thing the Meteorological Office don’t know that all the shops are closed and still there are families around here that still haven’t bought anything for breakfast.

“If the warning was straight forward from the beginning that we need to prepare for a cyclone like this, rather than just saying not to worry, it’s heading to Fiji and gusty winds that is the cause of the bad weather whole of this week, families would have prepared themselves well.”

Mr. Pulemagafa mentioned not only were the winds scary, they also feared for storm surges.

Mr. Pulemagafa added for future reference, the Weather office would be better off to alarm people.

“That way we would have prepared no matter what,” he said.

“I’m grateful the cyclone didn’t stay longer but I would hate to think of what could’ve happened if it did.”

It was not possible to get a comment from the Samoa Met Office yesterday.

But they had been issuing warnings about heavy rainfall and strong winds since the beginning of the week. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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