Met Office assuages weather fears

By Aruna Lolani 03 February 2017, 12:00AM

There is no need to panic.

That’s the assurance from the Assistant Chief Executive Officer of the Samoa Meteorology Office, Mulipola Ausetalia Titimaea, in the wake of fears about days of downpours throughout the country.

The heavy rain led to flooding in some parts of the Apia Township on Wednesday night. Across the country, fords vulnerable to flash flooding were quickly closed by the Land Transport Authority yesterday in a bid to protect members of the public.

But Mulipola assuaged public fears yesterday during an interview with the Samoa Observer saying the downpours are to be expected.

 “It’s quite normal because we are in the wet season,” he said. “We should expect these active features of the weather.”

This kind of weather (heavy rainfall) is not new to Samoa. 

But members of the public are still warned to take extra care, especially people living near rivers, streams and areas vulnerable to flooding.

 “We’re still in our wet season that started in November until April this year,” Mulipola said.

“Like December we had this kind of weather. I think it was December that we had some flooding as well and now again it’s a similar pattern.”

“Like in December, we had a similar type of event where there was a lot of rainfall on Monday.  

“So that one day provided more or less the situation for the whole month. So December was above average. I should say this is normal type of event during the wet season.”

Mulipola said it always pays to be cautious.

 “Expectations slightly deviated from the normal info but it’s a one day event because it’s so intense and so heavy. 

“That’s why there’s one off day that would certainly change the whole average of the month of January. That’s what we are having today and what we had last night.”

Mulipola added that the Met Office has continuously advised members of the public there is nothing to worry about.

 “I don’t think the public should be worried because we have already done the awareness in response to the possibility of flooding. 

“If you have seen our bulletin yesterday, we did issue the heavy rain warning for the public expecting low lying areas to be flooded so that situation in fact occurred last night (Wednesday) and today (yesterday). 

“So there’s no need to worry in terms of high waves or cyclones because there is no system in the region, there’s no tropical disturbance. 

“It’s just heavy rain that we are facing and the weather should improve by the weekend. That’s what our predictions are and as soon as this South Pacific convection zone moves south which is being pushed by the high pressure to the North of us.”

“According to the current forecast we expect the weekend to be slightly better than the current weather we are facing right now.”

By Aruna Lolani 03 February 2017, 12:00AM

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