24 Jan 2011

Cyclone Wilma causes damage in American Samoa

7:20 am on 24 January 2011

Tropical Cyclone Wilma has hit American Samoa and reports say the tramway cable from Utulei to Mount Alava has broken in two.

Two homes, one in Aua and another in Leloaloa, lost their roofs while a home in Fagasa was also badly damaged.

Downed powerlines are making it difficult for emergency responders to reach villages in the Eastern District.

Cyclone Wilma expected to pass on the western side of Tutuila about now, packing winds of more than 130 kilometres an hour.

As the cyclone passes in a southerly direction, it will also affect Samoa's main island, Upolu.

A cyclone alert has now been issued for Fiji's eastern islands.

An alert is also in place for Tonga's northern islands.

And for Tokelau, an alert is still in force but winds there are now expected to ease.