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State of emergency for Samoa, Tonga


South Pacific nations battered by Gita

Samoa and American Samoa have been battered by Cyclone Gita, with the category four storm causing widespread damage across the neighbouring Pacific island nations over the weekend.

 

Sparking a State of Emergency in Samoa, the cyclone forced hundreds of people on main island Upolu to leave their homes.

 

 

With capital Apia under water, the recently renovated Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel is among the places to suffer extensive damage, the Samoa Observer reported.

 

According to the ABC, Samoa’s Red Cross said the storm was a repeat of Cyclone Evan in 2012, which devastated the country.

 

“There has been heavy flooding, especially in central Apia,” Samoa Red Cross secretary-general Tautala Mauala said.

 

“The same families that were affected [last time] are again affected from this flooding.”

 

 

Meanwhile, Tonga has also declared an official State of Emergency as it prepares to feel the force of the current category four storm.

 

Predicted to develop into a category five storm with gusts of 230 kph, Tonga’s National Emergency Management Office expects the cyclone to hit sometime on Monday.  

 

“From our end we are alerting people to be prepared,” National Emergency Management Office director Leveni Aho said.

 

“It's still pretty calm in Nukualofa at the moment, but it's giving us every opportunity to prepare.

 

“We are in the process of informing everyone to prepare for the worst.”

 

Apia (Image Twitter: IFRC Asia Pacific)

 


Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 12 February 2018

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