15 Feb 2005

Samoa boat owners seek shelter, American Samoa on alert as Cyclone Olaf approaches

3:56 pm on 15 February 2005

The bigger boats in Samoa's fishing fleet are heading for shelter in Pago Pago Harbour in neighbouring American Samoa while others have sailed to the sheltered side of Upolu Island as Cyclone Olaf approaches.

One fishing boat skipper, Daniel Henson, says Pago Pago is a good harbour where you might get hit by the winds but the swells are not heavy.

Meanwhile the much smaller locally made alia fishing boats are being pulled ashore in Samoa.

In other developments the New Zealand High Commission and Immigration Service in Samoa closed its doors this morning and will remain closed while Olaf is in the vicinity.

In American Samoa, the Governor, Togiola Tulafono, has activated the Emergency Operations Center in Tafuna, and normal government operations have been down to allow workers to prepare for the cyclone.