Tropical depression leads to flooding and landslide

By Aruna Lolani and Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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Flooding at Fugalei.

Flooding at Fugalei. (Photo: Aruna Lolani )

Last minute Mother’s Day shopping yesterday was cut short no thanks to flooding and heavy downpours throughout the country.

The town area, especially Fugalei, Saleufi and Taufusi, was flooded after a night of heavy rain.

Up the hill at Palisi, residents and motorists were affected by a landslide.

Aside from blocking the driveway to the Ah Liki residence, the heavy rain caused the mud to flow into a family home. 

The mud entered the residence of a family around 4am while they were sleeping. The woman who did not wish to be named expressed her disappointment about what had happened.

She said the flooding and landslide ruined a lot of her furniture, clothes, shoes and other valuables. She was grateful however that no one was injured.

According to the Assistant C.E.O of the Meteorology Division, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Mulipola Ausetalia Titimaea, the bad weather is the result of a tropical depression to the southwest of Apia.

LANDSLIDE: Workers move to clear the landslide at Palisi yesterday.
LANDSLIDE: Workers move to clear the landslide at Palisi yesterday.

“The Meteorology Office released a warning for heavy rainfall and small craft advisory on the 9th May 2017 due to a tropical depression that was located Southwest of Apia which was later on named as Tropical Cyclone Ella and it is slowly drifting westward towards Fiji,” a press statement said. 

“The warning on heavy rainfall was then cancelled on the 12th May 2017." 

“The GFS and the UK Model predicted for the 12th May 2017 (00UTC) that rainfall will be below the advisory threshold for the next 24 hours." 

“The Severe Weather Guidance Forecast for the Pacific Region also agreed to what the models predicted and placing the heavy rain potential areas over and northeast of Fiji. That warrant the cancellation of the heavy rainfall warning as mentioned above.” 

According to Mulipola, the Global Forecast System Models suggested a weak divergence aloft however the CIMMS observations yesterday revealed “that the divergence aloft was actually stronger which enhanced the development of deep convections leading to heavy rainfall as witnessed today (yesterday).”

The rainfall is expected to ease today.

But the convergence zone is still active over Samoa and the public is advised that another wet weather episode is expected to impact the country at the beginning of next week. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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