Shipping service cancelled due to bad weather

Samoa Shipping Corporation cancelled services between Upolu and Savai’i yesterday as a safety precaution as the country experienced strong winds and rain.

Samoa Meteorology Division Assistant Chief Executive Officer, Tainau Mulipola Titimaea, told Samoa Observer that the current weather being experienced is due to a tropical disturbance near Samoa. 

The MET Office will continue to monitor the weather in the next 24 to 48 hours, he said, before making a assessment on whether the tropical disturbance will turn into a depression and become a tropical cyclone. 

“The development system, which is currently in its moderate stage, has the potential to develop into a tropical cyclone." 

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But only in the next 24-48 hours can we be quite clear on the development of this tropical disturbance to become a depression or event into obtaining a tropical cyclone,” he said, in an interview. 

The Samoa Shipping Corporation Ltd advised in a public notice on its Facebook page yesterday that it was cancelling all shipping services between Upolu and Savai’i.

“Due to bad weather forecast, our normal trips for today have been cancelled and if the weather conditions persist, services will continue to be closed until further notice,” the notice reads.  

Mr. Titimaea said the severe weather advisory from the MET Office remains in effect, but Samoa is not in immediate danger as the tropical disturbance is about 600 kilometers northwest of Samoa and is more closer to Fiji. 

The tropical disturbance is bringing a lot of moisture accompanied by heavy rain and strong winds, which are the first stage elements of a tropical disturbance, according to Mr. Titimaea. 

He also used the opportunity to remind the public that the Disaster Management Office is available and will respond to those in need of assistance.  

“We encourage the public to take heed to the current situation and weather we are facing at the moment,” he added.

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