Samoa’s Capitol Hit By Flooding From Heavy Rain

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Samoa’s Capitol Hit By Flooding From Heavy Rain Apia’s Fugalei market area hardest hit

By Deidre Fanene

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Dec. 29, 2015) – Parts of the Apia Township have been hit by flooding after days of heavy rain.

The worst affected are the Fugalei area as well as Taufusi and Savalalo.

Yesterday, the Meteorology Office issued a heavy rain warning for Samoa, advising members of the public to be alert over the coming days.

The warning comes as a trough of low pressure remains within the vicinity of Samoa, bringing heavy rain and thunderstorms.

[PIR editor’s note: On Dec. 28, 2015 Samoa News reported that ‘The last week of 2015 may set records for rainfall in American Samoa. … Yesterday's rainfall count was more than four inches and is expected to be eclipsed today. … From midnight to 5am local time, the rain gauge at Tafuna recorded three inches of rainfall. …The National weather Service had issued an early morning flash flood warning because of the rain. … Meteorologist Carol Maafala Baqui says there has been 14.7 inches of rain for the month so far which exceeds the December average of 14.52 inches. … Roads are flooded throughout the islands, presenting hazardous driving conditions. … Authorities have urged drivers to not try and drive through and against currents and those living near streams are advised to temporarily move away. … Baqui also says a South Pacific convergence zone, which also acts as a trough, is responsible for the incessant downpours since the weekend.’]

In an email from Luteru Tauvale, of the Met Office, he confirmed that an active convergence zone is responsible for the bad weather.

"This is the main reason why we are experiencing the rain and bad weather conditions at the moment," he said.

"Tropical disturbances are possible to develop along this convergence zone within the next few days and we are continuing to monitor the situation."

Mr. Tauvale said an advisory has already been issued for small crafts and alia fishing boats.

"There is also a wind advisory for all of Samoa, heavy rain warning with possibility of floods at vulnerable areas. These conditions are expected to persist throughout the week."

Asked about the possibility of a cyclone, Mr. Tauvale said there is a "fifty, fifty chance."

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