Cyclone Tuni flooding Samoa, American Samoa & Tonga…

Credit: Radio Newzealand International – Pacific News

floodingEmergency services in Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga got a clearer picture sunday morning of the damage left by Tropical Cyclone Tuni.

The category 1 cyclone battered Samoa and American Samoa on saturday bringing torrential rain that caused flooding and slips, while strong winds were recorded in Tonga. The storm is due to pass close to Niue today.

apiaIn Samoa, flash flooding was reported across the island of Savai’i and homes were evacuated in the capital Apia.

America Samoaamerican samoa 1

Communities in American Samoa are attempting to clean up roads and villages of debris scattered by the passing weather system.

American Samoa’s Emergency Operations Center has conveyed reports of homes flooded in Tula, Amouli, Fagaitua, Amaua, Leloaloa and Pago Pago.

There has been a landslide at Fatu ma Futi, and debris blocked the road in several parts of the island.

american samoaTonga

Tonga’s Meteorology Service forecasts Cyclone Tuni to continue to track eastwards away from the kingdom’s northern islands.

The weather system has been passing to the north east of the islands of Nuiafo’ou and Niuatoputapu where gale warnings remain in force.

Niuatoputapu recorded winds gusts of up to to 90 kilometres per hour on saturday, and received more than 100mm of rain in a 24 hour period. A heavy rain warning remains in force.

The Meteorology Service says phone lines to the northern islands have been down, so communication is currently relying on two-way radio.

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And as for Niue:

niueThe category one cyclone intensified on Sunday as it slowly moved at about 17 km/h through Tonga’s northern waters and was predicted to pass within 60 km of Niue overnight, with the island’s meteorology department saying there was a chance it could veer off course and hit the country directly.

The chief of police, Tony Edwards, said authorities weren’t taking any chances and had issued a “yellow alert” advising residents to prepare themselves on Sunday afternoon.

“So if they could batten up their houses, make sure that they’ve got enough welfare for them, and the other thing is because we’re going into the nightfall we don’t want anyone running around at night,” he said. “We can’t determine what’s going to happen, but we’re going to ensure that our people are prepared for the worst.”

Mr Edwards said he had spent the afternoon canvassing the island and people appeared to be heeding the message to be prepared before nightfall, with many residents boarding up windows and securing loose items.

He said the National Disaster Committee was meeting regularly and would monitor the situation through the night, with strong winds and heavy rain forecast.

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