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Tropical cyclones nearby whip up some wind and rain

As of 4 p.m. yesterday, satellite images showed an active monsoonal trough over the islands of American Samoa, and tropical cyclone Cyril located about 420 nautical miles south of Tutuila, according to the National Weather Service in Tafuna.

Weather Service officials said yesterday that the cyclone has moved away from the Tongan islands heading southeast, and was expected to diminish sometime last night, while the monsoon trough would remain over the islands last night and today.

Winds of 25 to 35mph yesterday afternoon were expected to diminish tonight as well as accompanying showers.

Cyclone Cyril is separate from another strong storm in the region, tropical cyclone Jasmine, which was upgraded yesterday to a category three and was near Vanuatu, according to Radio New Zealand International.

For the territory — as of yesterday afternoon — small craft, high surf, strong wind and small stream flood advisories remained in effect until sometime later this morning, the weather service says, adding that the monsoon trough continues to produce heavy showers and isolated thunderstorms.

In conjunction with the advisories from the Weather Service, the local Department of Homeland Security asked the public to take necessary precautions to secure any loose items around homes to protect life and property, especially during strong winds.

Caution should also be taken when driving along coastal and mountainous areas around the island. The general public is also encouraged to report any fallen trees, loose rocks or landslides to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) 24/7 Watch Center at 699-3800.

Due to yesterday’s unfavorable weather conditions, Harbor Master Silila Patane said in a statement yesterday that all users within Pago Pago Harbor are advised to safely secure their vessel, yacht, barge, floating devises and floating docks to their berths to prevent them from breaking loose and becoming a hazard to lives and properties.

This was the same advice to owners of vessels anchoring at outer harbors, including the Manu’a Island group.

Patane also said that all waterfront and recreational activities were banned until weather conditions improve, and residents of Aunu’u were advised to refrain from using the Aunu’u Channel due to bad weather conditions, saying the channel should only be used when weather conditions improve.

The strong winds prompted Inter Island Airways to cancel yesterday’s flight to Manu’a and it’s expected the airline will resume flights today based on weather conditions. Inter Samoa flights were also delayed due to the weather.

Local authorities have asked the public to continue listening to their local radio stations for the most updated information on the weather. Samoa News will also provide updates on its website and Facebook page if there are major changes to the local weather.