Ferries resume but still under a cloud

Inter-island ferries between Upolu and Savai’i resumed on Friday after strong winds forced their cancellation earlier in the week, but persistent bad weather continues to pose a threat to the services. 

Despite the ferries' closure on Thursday, hopeful customers queued at the Mulifanua wharf early on Friday morning in the hope that the inter-island service would resume.

Their prayers were answered when the a small ferry to Savai'i made the first journey of the day at 8.30 am. 

The Lady Samoa III set off for its first trip from Mulifanua to Salelologa shortly afterwards, at 10.30 am. 

The Corporation's office confirmed that all trips were made as scheduled on Friday, despite wind, heavy rain and flooding warnings remaining in force across the nation. 

But the Corporation have also warned the public that cancellation of the inter-island ferries remains possible so long as the weather remains unpredictable. 

"Keep in mind that there might be sudden changes if weather conditions worsen," a statement on Friday said. 

"We thank you for your understanding as we do our best to accommodate your travel needs and ensure safety is priority."

The Samoa Meteorological Office issued a wind advisory on Friday afternoon in force for all of Samoa and a a flood warning for low lying and otherwise vulnerable areas. 

A notice for small crafts and fishing boats warning remains due to high swells and strong winds as well as the heavy rainfall warning remaining in force for Samoa with possible landslides to vulnerable areas.

The Samoa Meteorological Service's scientific officer, Silipa Mulitalo, told the Samoa Observer that recent inclement weather is the result of a "convergence" (or the collision of two competing weather systems) which will continue to create heavy rainfall.  

“For Upolu, in the districts of Falefa, Apia to Manono there will be showers becoming frequent and heavy in the evening,'' while noting that strong gusts of wind were also likely.  

“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.”

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