Inter-island travel cancelled for safety

By Sialai Sarafina Sanerivi 26 February 2021, 10:00AM

Bad weather has again led to the Samoa Shipping Corporation cancelling its inter-island ferry service on Thursday for safety reasons. 

A day earlier bad weather conditions also plagued scheduled the ferry service which did not run on schedule.

A public notice was posted on the corporation's Facebook page on Thursday morning informed members of the public that travelling between Upolu and Savai'i is back on schedule. 

But two hours later the corporation advised in another social media post that the ferry service has been cancelled. 

"Be informed that our services are now closed for the rest of the day (Thursday) due to weather conditions," the notice reads.

"We thank you for your patience as we do our best to ensure the safety of all."

The announcement came on the back of a severe weather report issued by the Samoa Meteorology Division which alerted the the country on heavy rain and flooding.

"A convergence zone with associated rain and gusty winds continues to impact the Samoa island chain from time to time, whereas strong northwesterly wind has shifted south from the forecast zone," stated the severe weather update.

"The displacement of the strong wind surge has caused diminishing trends of high swells and waves from the past 24-hours. 

"However, gusty periods embedded with heavy falls are highly likely to influence land areas and may generate very rough seas for all marine waters. 

"Unsettle weather conditions predicted to remain persistent within our area throughout the day."

"Therefore, the high surf and coastal flood advisory are now cancelled while other valid warnings remain for all of Samoa."

The Meteorology Division has also cautioned the public that the heavy downpour would result in poor visibility and gusty winds, foggy and slippery roads over mountain passes and ranges as well as pooling near roadsides and waterways. 

There is also expected to be river overflows and landslides coupled with strong gusty winds with strong currents with rough to very rough seas

In Savai'i, traffic across the island was also disrupted due to the bad weather condition. 

The fords at Sapapali'i, Lano, Samalaeulu and Sasina – which are usually non accessible during heavy rain – were flooded making it hard for motorists to cross. There were also a few landslides and fallen trees on the roads. 

One particular area that experienced a minor landslide was at the peninsula between the villages of Safotu and Manase. The road was covered with soil, rocks and fallen trees. 

But quick response by staff from the Electric Power Corporation, Samoa Water Authority and local firm Just Bricks Constructions saw road access restored following the landslip. 

By Sialai Sarafina Sanerivi 26 February 2021, 10:00AM

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