Samoa is waking up to survey the damage after Cyclone Tuni battered the Pacific nation overnight.

The high-powered weather system dumped about 100 millimetres of rain and brought strong winds to the popular tourist hotspot.

Locals are still working to assess the extent of the damage but the nation's capital Apia was hit by flash flooding last night with reports, too, of landslides and blocked roads.

On the MetService blog, meteorologist Emma Blades said, at 7am today, Tropical Cyclone Tuni was 160km southwest of Samoa.

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Winds at its centre were blowing about 75 km/h, with gales extending 140km from the centre.

Mrs Blades said the cyclone was expected to maintain its intensity as it headed southeast over the next few days.

"It is not expected to impact on New Zealand at this time. However, it may pass very close to Niue on Monday and MetService will continue to monitor the progression of [Tropical Cyclone] Tuni with our colleagues at the Fiji Met Service," she said.

Sam Ward, a New Zealander staying in Samoa, said this morning it was still raining heavily, although it had eased from last night.

"It's quite windy. Everyone just closed up shop and just stayed indoors really," he said.
"I didn't see anything overly dangerous."

The rain started about 2.30pm yesterday.

"It got really heavy around four or five. It's been heavy since then."

Today the rain was comparable to an Auckland storm, but last night it was that "and then some", he said.

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Mr Ward, a rugby coach, is in Samoa for a tournament, which finished yesterday.

He's heading home to Auckland tonight and had been planning a day at the beach.

"Given the weather that's probably on the backburner."

Lute Tauvale, head of the Samoan Meteorology Division, said where his office was, the rain had now stopped and the cloud was thinning, but the strong winds continued.

Letter of advice given to hotel guests in Samoa. Picture / Supplied
Letter of advice given to hotel guests in Samoa. Picture / Supplied

In 24 hours to this morning, 80 to 100mm of rain fell in Apia. The division was yet to receive data from other locations.

The office had received reports from members of the public about last night's weather chaos.

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"Most of the city experienced a flash flood. Some of the roads were blocked. Some people calling in reported landslides on the east and northern coasts."

Rivers were also running high, Mr Tauvale said.

An update issued by the division said the cyclone was centred about 157km southwest of Apia early this morning.

By afternoon the system, which was intensifying, was expected to have moved to 223km south of Apia.

The division also warned of flooding in low-lying coastal areas due to high surf and to expect over-flowing rivers, slippery roads, poor visibility, flooding, landslides and flying objects.

The rain was also battering Samoa's second island of Savai'i yesterday.

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At the Jet Over Hotel, a staff member said she was busy trying to find rooms for tourists whose ferries to Upolu were cancelled.

"It's just raining and windy," she told NZME over the phone, with the rainfall clearly audible in the background.