Weather concerns disrupt inter-island travel

By James Robertson 03 January 2022, 5:07PM

Concerns about the safety of passengers travelling between Upolu and Savai'i drove the Samoa Shipping Corporation (S.S.C.) to cancel inter-island ferry trips on Monday. 

While there were trips on Monday morning, the bad weather on the New Year's public holiday has again led to the cancellation of ferry service on Monday afternoon. 

The S.S.C. issued a statement on Facebook on Monday afternoon announcing the cancellation of the Upoli-Savai'i trips.  

"Please be informed that due to bad weather conditions between Mulifanua and Salelologa we are unable to continue with our sailings until further notice," the notice read. 

"We apologize for the inconvenience but ask for your understanding as safety is always priority in such situations."

The statement from S.S.C. follows a severe weather report issued by the Samoa Meteorology Division on Monday morning. 

"Unstable, wet and windy weather conditions continue to persist over the forecast zone due to an active convergence zone situated within the vicinity of Samoa. 

"This system also brings fresh to strong Northerly wind-flow which generate rough seas to all coastal and open waters for today. 

"Therefore, hence previously valid warnings and advisories remain in effect for all land areas as well as for the Marine Advisory for all marine waters due to rough seas. 

"Expect, Scattered rain with brief heavy falls and a chance of thunderstorms. Fresh to strong and gusty winds."

The potential impacts of the severe weather forecast includes, heavy downpours with poor visibility, strong gusty winds during rain, foggy and slippery roads over mountain passes and ranges, pooling near roadsides and waterways. 

River overflows and possible landslides as well as rough seas.

The 8 am trip from Savai'i on Monday morning was also delayed due to bad weather conditions. 

It departed Salelologa wharf at 9 am on Monday with most of the passengers stranded on the wharf waiting for another trip over to Savai'i, only for the trips to be canceled. 

The S.S.C. are relying on the next weather report for the continuation of inter-island travels between Upolu and Savai'i. 

The majority of those now stranded in Savai'i had traveled over to the big island to spend New Years with their families on the big island and are hoping to return back to Apia this week.

 

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By James Robertson 03 January 2022, 5:07PM

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