Bad weather shuts inter island ferry services

Strong winds in Samoa have forced the cancellation of all inter-island ferry services between Upolu and Savai’i.

Samoa Shipping Corporation Limited announced the cancellation of the ferry services in a post on its Facebook page on Thursday afternoon, saying the safety of their ships’ crew and passengers were paramount.

“Please be informed that our ferry services are closed for the day due to unforeseen strong winds,” the Facebook post stated. 

The Samoa Meteorological Service scientific officer, Silipa Mulitalo, told the Samoa Observer that the bad weather is being created by a convergence which is triggering showers which will become heavy in the evenings. 

“For Upolu, in the districts of Falefa, Apia to Manono there will be showers becoming frequent and heavy in the evening,'' he said, and added that there will be gusty winds experienced. 

“For Savai’i from Salelologa district to Saleaula, showers will be frequent at times and heavy in the rain as well as fresh and gusty winds are expected too.” 

A heavy rain advisory issued by the Service on Thursday afternoon stated that the advisory is still in effect for all of Samoa. 

“Tropical Depression TD04F [lies] further to the west, is forecast to track cross Fiji islands and continue towards Tonga in the next 24-48 hours," the Service said.

“If the system intensifies as expected into a Tropical Cyclone Category 1 in the early hours of tomorrow [Friday], it will be named Tropical Cyclone Tino.

“Samoa can expect heavy rainfall to persist with the increased potential for flooding, associated with strong winds and rough seas towards the weekend from the active convergence zone linked to this system, TD04F. “

The Service added that an active convergence zone continues to remain within the vicinity of Samoa, thereby bringing rain and gusty winds to the islands.

“This condition is expected to persist over the island for today [Thursday]. Therefore, the heavy rain advisory will likely upgrade to a warning if conditions warrant.

“Potential impacts include poor visibility, gusty winds, foggy and slippery roads over mountain passes and ranges pooling near roadsides and waterways.”

Extra reporting by Vaelei Von Dincklage.

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