Plantations flattened following Cyclone Amos


Tropical Cyclone Amos has caused flooding and damaged roads and houses in Samoa.

Forecasters had expected the category 3 system to intensify, but in the end aid workers say it could have been much worse.

It's been a sodden 24 hours in the capital, Apia. Floodwaters lapped at the doors of businesses in the CBD, but subsided before causing real damage.

The power of Amos was still evident on the outskirts of town. Breadfruit trees were uprooted; some banana plantations have been flattened.

"For families which depend on their plantations, this will be an issue for them in the coming weeks," says Red Cross aid worker Clare Shave.

The most significant damage was on the island of Savai'i, where 63 residents were forced to leave their homes.

"People were evacuated from their homes into other people's houses, but they've all returned to their homes today," says Ms Shave.

"People took steps to protect themselves. The Red Cross was also busy doing preparations against the worst and people were boarding up homes and doing things, which meant the damage was not as bad as it might not otherwise have been."

Some roads were completely washed away and a bridge was damaged in Savaii's tourist area of Lano Village. 

Business operators there say the government has known about the poor state of the infrastructure for years.

"It's such an urgent matter and a threat to people's lives and livelihoods. They need to do this very urgently -- build a proper bridge," says owner of Lauiula Beach Fales Su'a Rinoni.

The main office at his resort suffered extensive damage.

Cyclone Amos is now passing over American Samoa, but is expected to weaken over the next 12 hours.