Cyclone Amos moves in on Samoa

Flooding around Taufusi/Saleufi areas (Facebook)
Flooding around Taufusi/Saleufi areas (Facebook)

Tropical Cyclone Amos has damaged crops and caused flooding in Samoa, but the storm was not as powerful as first anticipated.

Despite some fallen trees, damage to roads and flooding in low-lying areas -- a night of howling winds and torrential rain never developed into the storm some feared it would.

There have been no reports of deaths.

Yesterday, Samoa's meteorological service forecasted the then-category three storm could develop into a category four storm upon approaching the country's largest island Savai'i.

However, this was not the case and although Amos reached wind speeds of 120km/h, the centre of the cyclone travelled quickly along northern shores, missing the capital of Apia.

Heavy rain warnings are still in effect for coastal areas, but the storm has now taken a south-east turn towards American Samoa.

Tala Mau’ala from the Red Cross in Samoa says there were evacuations on the island of Savai’i last night because of flooding and some roads have been completely washed away.

But she says the main damage is limited to vegetation. “Some breadfruit trees have been uprooted and there’s been some damage to root crops like taro and yams”, she says.

Carlos Calderon, Oxfam’s Humanitarian Manager, says "once again Pacific communities are bearing the brunt of the super-charged El Niño gripping the region. Our thoughts are very much with those who had to endure another near disaster but we are relieved that Samoa escaped relatively unscathed". 

Oxfam New Zealand is sending humanitarian staff to see if any aid is required.

Samoa's Disaster Management Office has been keeping locals up to date with weather warnings via its social media accounts.

A hashtag, #TCAmosWatch, has also been started to keep locals and expats up to date with what is happening and where.