The Samoa Meteorology Office has urged members of the public to stay alert.
The message comes from the Assistant Chief Executive of the Meteorology Office, Mulipola Ausetalia Titimaea, as the country experiences a patch of bad weather – which could potentially develop into a cyclone.
A heavy rainfall alert and wind advisory were issued yesterday for the entire Samoa group. Residents living in low-lying areas, riverbanks and flood prone areas have been advised to prepare to move if the bad weather persists.
A warning about potential landslides has been issued to residents living on the foot of mountains and hills. On top of that, an advisory for small crafts and alia fishing boats has also been enforced.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Mulipola said it is best that people are prepared. The bad weather is the result of a two tropical disturbances developing in the southwest Pacific.
TD08F, which is a weak tropical depression, is developing southwest of Tonga.
But it is TD07F, which is a developing tropical disturbance just northwest of Fiji group, which is threatening Samoa.
Mulipola said TD07F has the potential to develop into a cyclone.
“Our primary focus is monitoring the Tropical Disturbance (TD07F) development-wise and potential hazards to Samoa in the next 24-48 hours,” a report from the Met Office said.
“It is predicted to move toward Wallis and Futuna by tomorrow afternoon (today) and intensify further as it nears Samoa by Saturday morning.
“Rainfall activity will continue to amplify and northwest winds expected to strengthen. The public is advised to remain vigilant and take precautionary measures, make sure you have the latest update on the weather.”
Mulipola said some parts of Samoa could expect winds of 35-40 mph (55-65 km/hr).
He is advising the public to take extra precaution.
“For small craft advisory this was issued a couple of days ago and it’s due to this circulation that is generating high swells,” said Mulipola.
“In the meantime, all of our warnings remain effective, small craft advisory, heavy rain warning and wind advisory. So the public are advised to take precautions.”
He added that the Disaster Management Office is looking to evacuate families living alongside the riverbanks should there be any flash floods.
“Fast flowing rivers are one of the warnings that we are issuing. As usual, Samoans try to get firewood from the flowing rivers, but they should not,” he said.
“We should stop the children from swimming in these areas during this time because it is dangerous. We ask the people to take care and not to take any risks and heed the warnings.
“Evacuation is also a possible precaution for all of those families living close to the rivers and I’m sure the Disaster Management team are already checking on families that might be affected by the over flowing river banks.
“I know the water level will keep increasing because it has been raining for the past couple of days and it will continue to do so for the next couple of days.”
Mulipola says there’s a difference this year in terms of cyclone.
“The risk of tropical cyclone this year is lower than last year because of the situation of the La Nina that we had,” he said.
“It seems that we are on track of the climatology and last year there were several systems closer to us, as we know Tropical Cyclone Amos was one of them and just towards the end of April last year that affected us.
“There were several other tropical cyclones that came close to hitting us this year.
“Hopefully it will stay that way in February and hopefully by next week we will have good weather.”