Cyclone on course for Samoa and Fiji

By Michael Dickison

A tropical cyclone is expected to hit Samoa today with wind speeds over 80km/h.

Cyclone Evan emerged yesterday when a tropical depression deepened 300km southwest of Apia and moved eastward toward the city.

The Fiji Meteorological Service said the tropical cyclone would be sitting right over Samoa about midday.

An Air NZ spokeswoman said last night that there were no planned disruptions to flights from New Zealand at this stage, but this could be revised as the storm hit.

The Fiji Met Service expects the cyclone to intensify to a category 2 as it changes direction and moves away from Samoa tomorrow.

Fiji is preparing for the cyclone to arrive on Sunday.

Fiji Met Service director Alipate Waqaicelua told the Fiji Times that residents need "to be prepared and ready, now".

Fiji police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro called out to mariners to "please take the weather advisories seriously". She said parents needed to keep a close watch on their children. The Nadi weather office was issuing warnings of heavy rain and flash-floods.

"There are hidden threats which could result in tragic incidents which is why supervision during this time is vital."

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