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WEATHER ALERT: Update 12 NOON

Cyclone warning cancelled, gale warning in effect
reporters@samoanews.com

The National Weather Service Pag Pago reports that today, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012 at 9:40am Tropical Cyclone Evan (04f) was centered near 13.4s 171.9w moving north-northwest slowly.

Computer models and forecast tracks for Evan show local winds will weaken over the next 36 hours. American Samoa can anticipate local winds and showers to diminish during the next couple of days.

Long term, Saturday through next Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, a monsoonal trough to the north of the area will generate strong northwesterlies across the region. Anticipate wet weather to linger over the region during the next several days.

Hawaiian Airlines personnel have announced that tonight’s flight from Hawaii to Pago Pago has been postponed until Friday, Dec. 14, 2012.

6 AM 12/13/12 REPORT

The National Weather Service in Pago Pago has cancelled the cyclone warning for American Samoa as tropical cyclone Evan moves away from the territory.

As of 3a.m today, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012, Evan was around 65 miles west of Pago Pago. Speaking on radio station KSBS-FM around 5:40a.m. today, meteorologist Mase Akapo said the weather pattern has changed with Evan, which was stalled over Upolu island in Samoa for several hours, now moving westward to Savaii island and then towards Fiji.

So as of 5.a.m. today, the storm was 85 miles west of Pago Pago and moving westward away from the territory at 5mph, but continues to usher severe and hazardous weather conditions.

Meanwhile, a Gale Warning is now in effect for American Samoa; a high surf warning remains in effect as well for all coastal waters; and a flash flood watch is in effect.

3:30 AM 12/13/12 REPORT

At 3:30a.m., Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012 Tropical Cyclone Evan remains stalled over Upolu island in Samoa for the last couple of hours although it continues to intensify.

According to the 2:58 a.m. cyclone bulletin from the National Weather Service in Pago Pago, the cyclone is about 65 miles northwest of Tutuila remaining nearly stationary. Additionally, the storm has stalled over Upolu island in the last couple of hours. Yet, Evan is still well organized and intact to this morning.

Around 12:15a.m. today (Thursday), meteorologist Mase Akapo at the weather service said on local radio station KSBS that the cyclone continues to remain stalled over Upolu and  an earlier forecast that the storm will reach Pago Pago with strong winds by 8a.m. today, “is no longer true.”
He says there is a delay in the storm heading to the territory by daylight.

However, he says Tutuila and Aunu’u are still under a hurricane warning while Manu’a island group and Swains Island, are under a storm warning.
He says heavy rain and strong winds are still expected for the territory heading into Thursday morning.

The weather service will issue the next cyclone bulletin around 6a.m. today (Thursday).

On a personal note, it is eerily still here on Tutuila this morning.  The sun is just coming up at 5:37 a.m. with a bright orangey-red glow playing off the clouds in the eastern sky.  Reminds me of the old seaman's saying — Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.

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8:30 PM 12/12/12 REPORT

As the Territory prepares for Tropical Cyclone Evan, Gov. Togiola Tulafono announced this evening, Wednesday, Dec. 12 2012 in a statement that all government offices and schools will be closed tomorrow (Thursday).

“All government activities will be suspended until further notice except emergency services and those providing response and relief assistance,” he said.

“I wish to advise the public and our island community to take the hurricane warning seriously and evacuate families in low lying coastal areas,” he said.

For assistance please call the Emergency Operations Center at 699-3800 or 911 for emergency assistance.“May God provide us all with strength in our preparation and spare us from... Evan,” he added.

The latest from the National Weather Service Pago Pago remains unchanged from the 8 pm update.

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8 PM 12/12/12 REPORT

Just before 7:30p.m. today, Dec. 12 2012, Gov. Togiola Tulafono went on local radio stations appealing to the public to take all necessary precautions prior to Evan heading close to the territory. He calls the storm a “very serious natural event...heading towards us” with winds of 90mph with gust of more than 100mph by Thursday morning.

Togiola says the areas that will first get the impact of the storm are the north shore villages, such as Fagamalo, Fagasa, Vatia, Masausi and Sailele.

“North shore facing villages will take the brunt of the cyclone,” he said. He urged residents of these villages to contact local authorities to be evacuated to safety, in case they are not sure of the safety of their homes during strong winds and heavy rain.

“If you are vulnerable to high winds” and heavy rain, allow the government to evacuate “your family to safety,” he said and noted that he has already received a briefing from the local weather office.

Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, Evan was located 60 miles west of Tutuila and continues to intensify.

Late today, Wednesday, Dec. 12 2012, the National Weather Service in Tafuna forecast for Thursday morning is heavy rains and isolated showers as Tropical Cyclone Evan lingers near Tutuila, with hurricane force winds of 75 to 95 mph with gusts to 120 mph, increasing to 85 to 110 mph with gusts to 130 mph before 12 noon.

Thursday night, the weather service is forecasting heavy rain and northwest winds of 75 to 85 mph with gusts to 95 mph.

The cyclone is expected to come very close to Tutuila by Thursday morning bringing heavy rain; however, local authorities found it difficult to predict as to whether the cyclone will actually make landfall.

This evening government officials were still monitoring the storm on its impact on the territory before making a decision on whether to designate any emergency shelters.

A Hurricane Warning for the territory was issued around 12 noon Wednesday as all government offices and the majority of local businesses were closed for the day or opened only half day. Residents took advantage of the early closure of offices to head to stores to buy up supplies in preparations for the storm.

Wednesday afternoon, Evan was about 60 miles west of Tutuila and moving towards the territory at 6 mph.

At press time there was no official statement from ASG as to the status of government offices for today, but the community is urged to listen to the local radio stations, and Samoa News will provide updates on its website.

Among the concerns with the cyclone is power outages and the American Samoa Power Authority (ASPA) has issued an official statement saying that ASPA will continue to supply power, but notably it cannot control power outages caused by down power lines or other circumstances caused by weather conditions.

“Our emergency teams are on stand by to fix power lines and to restore power to areas that may be affected as long as conditions are SAFE. This also applies to water,” the statement states, and noted that ASPA will provide ay updates through local radio stations and through the ASPA call center at 699-1234.

StarKist Samoa has canceled production for Thursday and will provide new updates through local broadcast media.

From LBJ Medical Center on its cyclone schedule: EMS, the Emergency Department and Inpatient Units will operate as usual, while outpatient clinics will be closed Thusday. Pharmacy will be open today from 8 a.m. until 12 noon

For the Dialysis Clinic it is also closed Thursday, but for more details on the rescheduling of treatment please contact LBJ for more information.

For any emergency situation faced by the community due to the cyclone or for assistance, please call the Emergency Operations Center at 699-3800.

BoH is said to be closed for Thursday but will open on Friday, Dec. 14. There is no word from ASB-ANZ Bank if it will be closed Thursday.

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3:46 PM 12/12/12 REPORT

The National Weather Service Pago Pago issued the following report at 3:46pm local time, Wednesday, Dec. 12 2012. Tropical Cyclone Evan (04f) was centered near 14.0s 171.5w or about 60 nautical miles west of Pago Pago at 1 pm local time moving east at 6 knots. Evan continues to intensify as it drifts toward Tutuila during the next 12 to 24 hours.

Tonight expect northwest winds 46-57 mph with gusts to 69 mph increasing  to 57-69 mph with gusts to 97 mph overnight. Seas building to near 18-20 ft. Heavy rain and isolated thunderstorms.

Thursday, hurricane force winds 74-92 mph with gusts to 120 mph increasing to 86-109 mph kt with gusts to 132 mph before noon. Seas 18-22 ft.  Heavy showers with isolated thunderstorms.

Thursday night, hurricane force winds 74-86 mph. Seas 20 to 22 ft.  Heavy showers with isolated thunderstorms.

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1:30 PM 12/12/12 REPORT

As of 11:52a.m. today, Tropical Cyclone Evan was located about 80 miles west of Tutuila and about 140 miles west of Manu’a, according to the 1:15p.m. bulletin from the National Weather Service in Tafuna.

The storm is expected to move closer to Pago Pago this evening and tonight. Maximum sustained winds are clocked at 40mph with higher gusts near the center the storm.

Besides the hurricane warning, also in effect is the flash flood watch.

The worst of the winds from the storm will start picking up tonight at about 60mph increasing to 70mph with gusts to 85mph overnight. Forecasters are predicting tomorrow’s winds to be at hurricane force at 75 to 95 mph with gusts to 120mph. Then increasing to 85 to 110mph with gusts to 130mph before noon tomorrow.

Meanwhile, StarKist Samoa has shut down production for the rest of today as well as tomorrow. Bank of Hawai’i is also close tomorrow. Information from the government states that all directors were meeting this afternoon with the governor and other local emergency management officials.

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12 NOON 12/12/12 REPORT

At 12 noon today, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, the National Weather Service Pago Pago is reporting that Tropical Cyclone Evan was centered near latitude 14.1s longitude 172.0w or about 80 nautical miles west of Pago Pago moving eastward 10 knots. TC Evan will continue to usher severe and hazardous weather conditions during the next 24 hours.

Rest of this afternoon expect northwest winds 20-30 kt increasing to 20-35 mph with gusts to 55 mph before sunset. Seas 10-12 ft building to 12 to 15 ft. Occasional showers and isolated thunderstorms. .


Tonight, northwest winds 45-55 mph with gusts to 65 mph increasing  to 55-65 mph with gusts to 95 mph overnight. Seas building to near 18-20 ft. Heavy rain and isolated thunderstorms.

Thursday expect hurricane force winds 75-90 mph with gusts to 120 mph increasing  to 85-110 kt with gusts to 130 mph before noon. Seas 18-22 ft.  Heavy showers with isolated thunderstorms.

Thursday night, hurricane force winds 70-85 mph Seas 20-22 ft.  Heavy showers with isolated thunderstorms.

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9 AM 12/12/12 REPORT

Tropical Cyclone Evan was centered near latitude 14.2s longitude 173.0w or about 130 nautical miles west of Pago Pago at 7 am this morning, Wednesday, Dec. 12 2012. Evan is expected to continue to intensify during the next 12 to 24 hours as it approaches the Samoan islands.  There is a hurricane watch and a storm warning in effect for all Samoa islands.  

Today, northeast winds 25-35 mph turning northwest before noon.  Occasional showers and isolated thunderstorsm.  Tonight, northwest winds 40-50 mph increasing to 55-70 mph overnight.  Seas will be 12-25 ft building to 18-20 ft.  

On Thursday, northwest winds 65-75 mph incrasing to 85 mph in the afternoon.  Heavy showers with isolated thunderstorms.

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CLOSINGS AND CANCELLATIONS

The following schools are closed

All DOE schools
Manumalo
SBA
Pacific Horizons will close early at 11 am
Kanana Fou
All Catholic schools
All Adventist schools
South Pacific Academy will close early at 12 noon

The following events are cancelled or postponed:

ASG offices will close at 12 noon
The ASG Christmas program has been postponed
All Polynesian and Inter Island flights are cancelled for today

6 AM 12/12/12 REPORT

At 6 am this morning, Dec. 12 2012 American Samoa was upgraded to a hurricane watch and a storm warning as Cyclone Evan continues to approach the Samoa islands and is now 150 miles west of Pago Pago.

The storm had stalled in the last few  hours, however Tropical Cyclone Evan is expected to move closer to Pago Pago this evening and tonight.  Maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph with higher gusts near  the center.

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CLOSINGS AND CANCELLATIONS

The following schools are closed

All DOE schools
Manumalo
SBA
Pacific Horizons will close early at 11 am
Kanana Fou
All Catholic schools
All Adventist schools
South Pacific Academy will close early at 12 noon

The following events are cancelled or postponed:

ASG offices will close at 12 noon
The ASG Christmas program has been postponed
All Polynesian and Inter Island flights are cancelled for today

4 AM 12/12/12 REPORT

(4 am Dec. 12, 2012) — A gale warning and a storm watch have been issued for American Samoa as Tropical Cyclone Evan continues to move slowly towards the territory.

The National Weather Service in Pago Pago says that as of 10p.m. yesterday the cyclone was located 185 miles west of the main island of Tutuila and heading towards the territory at 8mph. 

The brunt of the storm is expected to felt by residents sometime this afternoon heading into the evening.

So far, only one private school has canceled classroom sessions for today. Manumalo Baptist schools will be closed due to weather conditions while teachers are being asked to report to the school campus.

No incidents or storm related problems reported from local authorities over night.

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4:30 PM REPORT 12/11/12

As of 4:30pm today 12/11/12, the depression has been upgrade to Tropical Cyclone Evan and this means the storm has reached gale force winds of about 40 mph, explained forecaster Carol Baqui with the weather service in Tafuna in a phone interview.

“And if the storm stays on its current path over the next 24 hours, the tropical cyclone is expected to be 115 miles west of Pago Pago,” said Baqui who pointed out that Wednesday and heading into the evening is expected to be some of the worst weather conditions for the territory.

She also says that neighboring Samoa has been hammered with heavy rain and Swains Islands is expected to get very strong gusty winds tonight heading into morning.
Local emergency management officials advised the public to remain on

alert and secure loose items as necessary. Additionally be prepared to comply with any orders issued by local authorities as well as continue to monitor local radio stations for weather updates. Samoa News will also provide updates on this website as new information becomes available from local authorities.

News media reports out of Apia state that the Samoa government is also monitoring the depression, which is expected to impact Savai’i island first.

Officials of Inter Island Airways and Polynesian Airlines told Samoa News this afternoon that flights are still schedule for Wednesday on the inter Samoa route.  Polynesian Airlines’ local station manager Toe Loia said 10 flights are scheduled for Wednesday utilizing the airlines’ two 19-seat planes. He also said the flights are full due to the busy holiday traffic on the inter Samoa route.

In anticipation of any major weather change for Wednesday, Inter Island Air has moved up the time departures of its flights with Apia flights leaving the Tafuna airport at 9a.m. and 1p.m. and 11a.m. for Manu’a, according to an airline official.

Both airlines will continue to monitor the weather conditions and advise the public accordingly if there are any changes. Inter Island officials asked passengers to contact their office if there are any questions about the flights.

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3 PM ALERT 12/11/12

American Samoa is now under a gale watch issued by the National Weather Service in Tafuna. By early afternoon (Tuesday 12/11/12), Tropical Depression [04F] was about 275 miles west of Pago Pago moving east-northeast at 14mph and if the depression stays on this course it will move close to American Samoa tomorrow and tomorrow evening, according to the afternoon bulletin issued by the Weather Service.

It also says that the depression is intensifying rapidly and will likely reach gale force winds Wednesday and storm force winds Wednesday night. A gale watch as well as high surf advisories remain in affect for all islands of the territory.

Because of the depression, the visit by the cruise ship Ocean Princess set to arrive Thursday is now canceled, according to the American Samoa Visitor’s Bureau based on an advisory from the local shipping agent for the cruise ship, which was to be the 20th vessel and last one for 2012.

There were some periods today when the sun came out from behind the clouds but forecasters says the community should not be fooled because the depression is still being tracked to move towards the Samoan islands.  Authorities in neighboring Samoa are also monitoring the depression, which is to affect Savai’i island first.

As of this afternoon, flights on the inter Samoa route are operating but officials of the two airlines serving the two Samoas continue to monitor weather conditions for tomorrow.

American Samoa emergency management officials advised the public to remain on alert and secure loose items as necessary. Additionally be prepared to comply with any orders issued by local authorities as well as continue to monitor local radio stations and this website for updates.

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8 AM 12/11/12 REPORT

(Tuesday, Dec. 11 2012) — As of 8a.m. today (Tuesday 12/11/12), the National Weather Service in Pago Pago has issued a gale wind warning for American Samoa as Tropical Depression (TD 04F), moves slowly towards the Samoan islands.

Forecasters say the depression was located about 360 miles west of Pago Pago around 4a.m. today and moving towards the Samoan islands at 10mph.

Meteorologist Mase Akapo with the Weather Service office in Tafuna told local broadcasters that the depression is expected to be located about 110 miles west of Pago Pago by noon tomorrow.

A gale warning advisory has been issued and the weather office is forecasting a lot of rain within the next 24 hours. The storm is expected to stall near Upolu island in Samoa as it continues to intensify.

The storm “continues to intensify as it move towards the Samoan islands [on] Wednesday,” according to the latest weather bulletin by forecasters, who have called on residents to prepare in advance of the storm.

Winds for today are expected at 10 to 15mph, increasing tonight to 15 to 25mph. By Wednesday winds are forecasted at 25 to 35mph increasing to 45mph Wednesday night.

With expected strong winds, the weather office has maintained a high surf advisory for east and south facing shores of American Samoa. Surf is forecasted at 8 to 12 feet today thru Wednesday afternoon.

According to the advisory it is extremely dangerous to fish or observe waves from the shoreline during high surf conditions.

FIRST REPORT (2:30AM TUESDAY, 12/11/12)

The National Weather Service in Pago Pago updated at 2:30a.m. today, Dec. 11, the high surf advisory, which was first issued late yesterday afternoon, following the detection of a tropical depression, that has since been identified as TD 04F. The storm was first detected in the Fiji islands.

As of 10p.m. Monday, local time, the tropical depression was located about 420 nautical miles west of the territory’s main island of Tutuila and heavy rainfall is expected around mid week.

The weather service reports that the weather service in Nadi, Fiji is tracking the storm expecting it to move closer to Savai’i island in Samoa within the next 24 hours or about 330 nautical miles northwest of Pago Pago.
It is forecasted that the storm should be located about 180 nautical miles northwest of Pago Pago within 48 hours.

Forecasters in Fiji were quoted by Radio New Zealand International saying that the storm brought heavy rain in certain areas of Fiji including Vanua Levu as strong wind warnings were issued.

As of late yesterday, New Zealand forecasters says the storm is moving east and indications are that it will continue moving over Wallis and Futuna and towards Samoa.

New Zealand says the depression has a high potential to become a tropical cyclone and should impact Samoa in the next 18 to 36 hours. If it does turn into a cyclone, it will be the first one for the season.

Back in Pago Pago, forecasters are urging residents to stay away from the shoreline, as high surf of 8 to 12 feet is expected.

Residents are asked to listen to their local radio stations for the latest update on the weather and Samoa News online will provide any new updates from the Weather Service.

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