12 Dec 2012

Depression prompts gale watch in American Samoa

2:31 pm on 12 December 2012

A gale watch is now in effect in American Samoa as the Weather Service monitors a tropical depression which is heading towards the Samoa group.

A meteorologist Carol Maafala Bacqui expects the storm will be named as a tropical cyclone by this afternoon.

She says based on all the models they've been studying, the depression is whipping up hurricane strength winds, monstrous waves and heavy rain.

"And if looks like winds may be gusting up to over 50, 60 miles an hour and that won't be until the Wednesday night into the Thursday timing, but anything can change during the next 12 to 24 hours."

American Samoa meteorologist Carol Maafala Bacqui.

Stores are reporting residents have been buying lanterns, batteries and food.

A cruise ship, the Ocean Princess, that was set to arrive in American Samoa tomorrow has cancelled its visit.