Cyclone Tuni sweeps through Samoa

Tropical Cyclone Tuni is maintaining its category one status as it passes to the south of Samoa (MetService)
Tropical Cyclone Tuni is maintaining its category one status as it passes to the south of Samoa (MetService)

Tropical Cyclone Tuni has battered Samoa overnight, and is possibly going to hit Niue tomorrow night.

The Pacific nation suffered torrential rain, with reports of flash flooding across the island of Savai'i and homes evacuated in the capital, Apia, according to Radio New Zealand.

MetService New Zealand says Cyclone Tuni is maintaining its category one status as it passes to the south of Samoa, and it's likely to stay that way as it tracks southeast.

The Fiji Meteorological Service says the cyclone is expected to move slowly through Apia and Nuku'alofa today, but will ease by tomorrow.

The service says the cyclone is lying about 660km northwest of Niue and is gradually moving southeast at 18km/h. Cloud and rain heavy at times is expected for Niue, along with thunderstorms.

 

(Esmay J Ah Leong/Twitter)

Easterly winds have an average speed of 50km/h, reaching up to 75km/h, and a strong wind warning remains in place for Niue waters.

It is not expected to impact New Zealand at this time.

MetService says the tropical cyclone season in the southwest Pacific started at the beginning of November, and usually peaks around January or February.

With El Niño conditions this year, the service is expecting to have more tropical cyclones forming than usual.

Residents have expressed their concern on Twitter.

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