15 Feb 2005

Olaf remaining on target for Samoa's Savaii tomorrow morning

8:16 pm on 15 February 2005

Samoa's National Disaster Centre will be on full alert overnight monitoring the progress of Cyclone Olaf, which is expected to intensify.

The cyclone is predicted to directly hit Samoa with winds at its centre gusting up to 230 kilometres an hour.

On its current path, damaging gale force winds from the cyclone are expected to reach the northern island of Savaii first, by tomorrow morning.

These winds are expected to intensify to very destructive hurricane force winds before midday tomorrow.

Phenomenal sea swells are predicted to cause flooding in coastal areas.

The Principal National Disaster officer, Mena Nelson says she hopes that people are fully prepared.

She says schools closed early today and families have been securing houses and stocking up on essential emergency supplies.

Ms Nelson says emergency centres have also been set up.

"'Well in each community, there are school buildings and classes for residents, so if the situation gets worse, those are the facilities where people can move to."

The Principal National Disaster officer in Samoa, Mena Nelson.