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Safety warning as heavy rain brings flooding, landslides in Samoa
02:41 am GMT+12, 18/12/2020, Samoa

Samoa Disaster Management Office (DMO) has urged members of the public all over Samoa to exercise extreme caution as heavy rain continues. Members of the public living in low lying areas prone to flooding have also been urged to evacuate.
 
A night of relentless downpours has led to flooding in parts of the Apia Township and landslides in other vulnerable parts of the country. River banks have burst and traffic has been brought to a complete stop in some places.
 
On Thursday night, the authorities urged residents living in low-lying areas that are vulnerable to flooding to evacuate.
 
Several public services have also been closed due to Friday’s severe weather conditions, authorities announced.
 
In a statement issued today, the Public Service Commission said that all but “essential services employees” were advised to stay home.
 
Those employees who were already at their place of work were advised to return when it was safe to do so.
 
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officers of Government Ministries will be on standby for any request for assistance from the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC). Those from essential service Ministries should seek to manage any emergencies in coordination with the NEOC, the statement said.  
 
The bad weather is the result of "another active" convergence zone, according to the latest weather report from the Samoa Meteorology Office. Two cyclones are also circulating the Pacific, one over Fiji and another heading towards Tonga.
 
In the meantime, the new convergence zone remains slow moving from the west of Savai’i over the Samoa bringing associated rain and gusty winds.
 
“Periods of rain with heavy falls and thunderstorms as well as gusty winds are anticipated for today,” the report reads.
 
“Increasing combine waves and swells of more than 4 metres are expected to impact coastal to open waters and will generate very rough seas and high surf for all of Samoa. Therefore, valid warnings and advisories will remain for the country.”
 
The DMO has advised the travelling public be extra cautious.
 
“Early morning update from our Water Resources Division monitoring team. Observed overtopped drainages along Vailima road.
 
The rivers are rising and residents living nearby have been placed on notice and told to evacuate.
 
“We urge the travelling public to be cautious along these areas. As we experience further rainfall, it is advised that you remain vigilant, drive slow and keep calm. Alternative routes are encouraged if you are unsure of your safety along this area.

SOURCE: SAMOA/PACNEWS


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