Satellite imagery shows Cyclone Amos looming near Samoa. Image / http://earth.nullschool.net
Samoa is bracing to be walloped by an intensifying cyclone which is expected to hit the Pacific nation tonight.
Cyclone Amos was upgraded to a category three storm yesterday, and was expected to be further upgraded to category four before it hits tonight.
Samoa’s meteorological service said the cyclone was moving slowly eastward towards Samoa and was intensify gradually.
The storm, which was being fuelled by very warm sea surface temperatures, was located 420km northwest of Apia at 10am (9am NZT), and was forecast to close in by a further 100km by 7pm.
The meteorological service said Cyclone Amos would bring periods of occasional rain – heavy in some areas – along with thunderstorms.
Northeast to north winds of up to 80km/h, gusting to 100km/h, were expected over western open waters of Samoa. Overland, winds could reach about 55km/h, gusting to almost 90km/h.
Potential impacts could include overflowing rivers, slippery roads, poor visibility, flooding, landslides and flying objects.The meteorological service said seas were very rough, with swells of about 4.5m likely.
Oxfam is poised deliver relief if the situation gets worse.
“We are on stand-by and ready to respond to Cyclone Amos, currently moving fast through the Pacific and bearing down on Samoa,” Oxfam humanitarian manager Carlos Calderon said.
“Oxfam is already prepositioned in Samoa to initiate water trucking and is working closely with its partners to act quickly, if required”.