5 Jan 2004

Cyclone Heta

4:11 pm on 5 January 2004

Villagers in the eastern and western coasts of American Samoa are beginning to panic with Cyclone Heta, tipped to be as big as previous cyclones.

Winds between 160 to 180 miles per hour are expected tomorrow morning as the eye of the storm is expected to pass by the territory.

Our correspondent in American Samoa Monica Miller says coastal villagers there have already evacuated in fear for their lives.

"People are really scared of the high swells over there and they say its very much like the conditions we experienced during Cyclone Ofa as well as Cyclone Val."

Monica Miller says reports is some homes are rattling and roofing irons blown away in the eastern part.

She says from Tafuna to Pago Pago, the situation is fairly calm, but people have still boarded up their homes.

The Department of Education has announced all schools are closed til further notice.