Tropical Cyclone Garry slips by the territory
When it comes to wind and rain, Tropical Cyclone Garry was a no-show in the territory. At 3:30p.m. Tuesday, Garry was located about 50 nautical miles north-northeast of the Manu’a islands and moving away from American Samoan waters slowly at 6 knots per hour, according to the National Weather Service in Tafuna.
A resident of Faleasao in Manu’a said that at daybreak Tuesday the weather was “very calm” with no winds or rain and seas were good. “We are just so very blessed that Manu’a has been spared by the hurricane and we thank God, who answered our prayers overnight,” said the female resident via phone from Faleasao, after she and other relatives went for a morning walk along Faleasao beach.
The weather service Tuesday afternoon forecast that the storm would continue to advance eastward away from Manu’a, with a downgrade of winds from gale force to a wind advisory by this morning.
The Weather Service however cautioned the public and mariners that high surf would continue to be experienced surrounding the Manu’a islands due to the storm.
No damage from Garry has been reported with American Samoa escaping without harm the second cyclone during this hurricane season that runs through the end of March.
The last time a cyclone hit the Manu’a islands causing major damage to infrastructure and agriculture was Cyclone Olaf in mid February of 2005 — one year after the January 2004 powerful Cyclone Heta that caused severe damage on Tutuila, but spared Manu’a.
Meanwhile, forecasters in Nadi, Fiji say the tropical storm is heading eastward to the northern Cook Islands waters, where it will become a Category Two storm system
Cook Island forecasters plan to issue a gale force marine warning soon for Cyclone Garry, according to Radio New Zealand International late Tuesday afternoon.
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