Samoa avoids direct cyclone hit, remains on alert
Tuesday 22 Jan 2013 6:41 a.m.
Cyclone Evan caused damage in both Samoa and Fiji (file, Reuters)
Samoa has avoided a direct hit, but remains on alert this morning as a cyclone tracks north of the country.
Cyclone Garry is 124 nautical miles north of the capital Apia, which was badly damaged by Cyclone Evan last month.
Forecasters there had warned Garry could make a direct hit overnight, sparking evacuations and closing down the capital.
New Zealand High Commissioner to Samoa, Nick Hurley, says the recent, deadly Cyclone Evan gave them a wake-up call.
“This time people were well-prepared, there were lots of forecasts happening, people were actually moving to higher ground – hopefully if we get another scare people will continue to be well-prepared.”
The Samoan National Disaster Coordination Centre has told 3 News the recovery from Evan is going well, with most of the infrastructure back up and running, but it wants people to remain vigilant for the next 12 to 24 hours.
It hopes Garry will remain on an eastward course, which will mean it will miss Samoa altogether.