Cyclone brewing, heavy rain alert

By Pai Mulitalo Ale ,

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Tropical Cyclone

Tropical Cyclone "Amos". (Photo: Fiji Meteorological Service)

Cyclone Amos continues to develop in the Pacific but members of the public in Samoa are asked not to panic.

The message comes from the Chairman of the Disaster Advisory Committee, Suluimalo Amataga Penaia, who yesterday said members of the public must stay alert and be aware of possible flooding due to the developing cyclone.

Suluimalo confirmed that Samoa is in the path of Cyclone Amos and the Meteorology Office is likely to start issuing warnings about it today.

As of yesterday though, he said the cyclone had just started to form and there was no need to issue a cyclone alert at the time as the cyclone was far from Samoa.

“So at this moment we are only issuing normal weather forecasts,” he said. “We are warning the public about heavy rain and strong winds.”

 “From the models we have seen, the tropical cyclone is moving between Samoa and Tonga and straight to Niue Islands."

If it affects Samoa, the country is likely to start experiencing strong winds tomorrow, with the cyclone predicted to be a category 2 by then. 

Suluimalo predicted that the southern coast of Savai’i is likely to be the first part of the country to be affected.  

 “At this stage a tropical Cyclone is still category 1,” said Suluimalo yesterday.

Cyclone Amos is moving at a speed of 10 to 15 kilometers per hour but it’s outside of Samoa’s open waters about 500kilometers. 

As of 7pm last night, Amos was located at 12.6S 179.5W or approximately 406nm (751km) to the West of Asau or about 457nm (847km) west of Apia.

 Cyclone Amos is moving Northeast at a speed of 02mph (very slow moving) and intensifying with sustained winds of 40mph closed to the centre, increasing to 60mph within the next 24 hours.

Based on its forecast track, Tropical Cyclone Amos continues to move eastward and intensify to a Cat 2 before curving Southeast just to the Southwest of Savaii island. 

Expected fresh to strong winds may affect most of Savaii island by 221800UTC or Saturday morning local time and gale force winds towards the evening when the system is at it’s closest to Savai’i.

Wave watch models indicates developing northwest swells of 6-8 feet and may peak around a damaging 18 feet by Sunday morning.  

A small craft advisory has been issued and high surf may cause flooding for low lying coastal areas as TC Amos nears the Samoa islands.

The Assistant Chief Executive Officer of the Meteorology Division, Mulipola Ausetalia Titimaea, said his team is working around the clock to monitor the situation.

In the meantime, members of the public are asked to listen to Radio 2AP and the local radio stations for updates. They are also encouraged to log on to the Disaster Manager Office’s Facebook page for the latest updates.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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