27 Dec 2007

Samoa's chief disaster management officer says frequency of cyclones has increased

11:46 am on 27 December 2007

Samoa's chief disaster management officer is warning that climate change has increased the frequency of tropical cyclones in the Pacific region.

Sala Sagato Tuafiso says there's been a 5 per cent increase in the frequency of cyclones because of the changing temperature in the water.

The Newsline newspaper reports that statistical analysis of all tropical cyclones in the last 150 years shows Samoa is likely to be affected by a tropical cyclone with gale force winds of between 60 to 80 kilometres an hour every three years.

It also says that a tropical cyclone with winds of up to 80 kilometres an hour and higher is likely to hit the country every six years.

But Sala says climate change is increasing the frequency of tropical cyclones and this is a real disaster for the whole Pacific region.

If the Meteorology Division's predictions are right, Samoa should be bracing itself for a Cyclone this season as Cyclone Heta occurred in 2004 three years ago.

Sala says Samoa needs more equipment to increase meteorological observations and satellite images which would help collect information about tropical cyclones.