Heavy rain in Samoa causes flooding, infrastructure damage

Savaii is the most affected with roads submerged by overflows. Photo: Land Transport Authority - Samoa

Savaii is the most affected with roads submerged by overflows. Photo: Land Transport Authority - Samoa

Flooding has hit parts of Samoa due to heavy downpour on Thursday causing damages to homes and infrastructure.

Savaii is the most affected with roads submerged by overflows, reports of damaged roads and bridges, power outages and school closures.

Samoa Meteorology Division officer Silipa Mulitalo said the rain and flooding has subsided, but they are continuing to closely monitor the weather system.

“We are seeing updates from the land transport authorities who are on the ground for the infrastructure side of things…looking at roads and bridges,” Mulitalo said.

“Some of them have closed. It is very much clear here in Apia. It’s cloudy with overcast conditions, not much rainfall has been recorded.”

The capital Apia along with most parts of Upolu have been largely unaffected by the rain.

“We are seeing decreasing rainfall activities,” Mulitalo said.

“So, we can imagine that in the next 6 to 12 hours for all the rainfall to runoff to the ocean but there’s still a lot of moisture around the areas,” she said.

“But in the next 24 hours there is still the potential of heavy downpours from time to time.”

The bad weather has also caused disruptions to inter-island ferry service between Upolu and Savaii.

The Samoa Shipping Corporation Limited said its services between Salelologa and Mulifanua have been delayed due to the poor weather situation.

Heavy rain warning

In its latest weather update at 5pm on June 8, the Samoa Meteorological Division said “an active convergence zone remains within the vicinity of the group.”

“The system has eventuated heavy rainfall with numerous flooding over the interior and coastal parts of Savai’i Island,” it said in a statement.

“Observations indicated a maximum of more than 300mm recorded from Vai’a’ata since midnight [Wednesday]. However, such conditions remain persistent over the island chain for now although Upolu may not face an imminent threat as the big island.”

The met division said the pooor weather will casue: “Heavy downpours with poor visibility, foggy and slippery roads over mountain passes and ranges, pooling near roadsides and waterways with possible landslides to prone areas. Expect gusty winds at times.”

Source: RNZ