17 Feb 2005

The Samoas begin to assess the impact of Cyclone Olaf

4:54 pm on 17 February 2005

Assessors are beginning to count the cost of cyclone Olaf in American Samoa

as the cyclone, classified as category five on a severity scale of five, continues its east south east path.

The Cook Islands could face its third cyclone in as many weeks as it cleans up after cyclone Nancy which hit over the last two days.

Olaf is about 120 kilometres south of Rose Island, the far east part of American Samoa, and is continuing to move in a south eastern direction away from the territory.

Steve Reddy of the New Zealand Met Service says Olaf continues to head due south east at a speed of around 25 to 30 kilometres an hour.

He says Olaf has estimated winds of 220 kilometres an hour near its centre.

On its forecast track its expected to pass to the west of the Southern Cook Islands in the next 24 to 48 hours.