23 Feb 2020

Samoa prepares for Wasi, activates Emergency Operations Centre

12:33 pm on 23 February 2020

The Samoa government has activated the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) to prepare for Tropical Cyclone Wasi.

A tropical cyclone warning remains in effect for all of Samoa.

Tracking map for Tropical Cyclone Wasi

Tracking map for Tropical Cyclone Wasi Photo: Samoa Meteorological Service

"Heavy rain warnings remain in effect for Samoa; landslides are possible for vunlerable areas," according to the Samoa meteorological service.

Tropical Cyclone Wasi is slow moving east southeast at 12km/hr with winds close to the centre at 83kph.

Flood warnings remain for all major rivers and vulnerable areas. Coastal flood advisories remain effective for low-lying coastal areas due to high surf.

The National Emergency Operations Centre will take the lead on all national coordination and national response in regards to Tropical Cyclone Wasi, in collaboration with all Emergency Response Agencies.

The Fiji Met Service names it Cyclone Wasi.

It is the second cyclone in two days to have formed in the same area.

At noon yesterday category one Wasi was located to the northwest of Apia and moving southeast.

Wasi is expected to pass Samoa, intensifying to a category two storm as it moves to the southeast towards Niue.

It is not expected in Niue's waters under late on Sunday.

That island is still feeling the effects of now ex-cyclone Vicky, which was downgraded by forecasters Saturday morning, and has moved to the south of Niue.

Both Samoa and Niue are expected to receive damaging winds and extensive rain with extensive flooding expected on Samoa.

Seas in the area affected will be rough to very rough with winds of up to 55 knots.

Earlier Niue's police chief, Tim Wilson, told our reporter that rough seas were already pounding the island's northern coast.

Schools were closed on Friday (Saturday NZT), and an Air New Zealand cancelled today's flight to the island.

"We're expecting the most impact on the north and east side of the island, which is good for us because that's the part of the island where people live furthest away from the sea," he said.

"We're asking people to just be prepared."