13 Dec 2012

Tropical cyclone nears Samoa

1:19 pm on 13 December 2012

Storm, hurricane and flood warnings have been issued for Samoa as a cyclone moves closer to the country.

Tropical cyclone Evan emerged west of Samoa's capital Apia on Wednesday and if it maintains its current course will come within 5km of the city on Thursday afternoon.

Shops in the capital have been packed with people buying food, batteries, small portable radio sets, candles and hurricane lanterns.

Power is off in many villages, and trees are also down; some parts of the country are flooded after heavy overnight rain.

The weather office has issued its third special weather bulletin with a storm and a hurricane warnings as well as flood advice for the whole country.

The latest report says the cyclone is moving east of Samoa at 13 knots with sustained winds of over 90 kilometres an hour close to the centre.