Samoa – Damaging Floods and Landslides Strike After Heavy Rain

Heavy rain has triggered floods and landslides in Samoa, in particular in areas around the capital of Apia.

Floods in Apia, Samoa, December 2020. Photo; Disaster Management Office

Apria recorded around 85 mm of rain in 24 hours to 17 December. Media reported the Vaisigano river broke its banks. Flooding swamped roads, causing severe disruption to traffic in the city. The Disaster Management Office called for extreme caution as the heavy rain continued and urged residents of some low-lying areas to evacuate their homes.

Samoa’s Public Service Commission advised all employees except for essential services employees to stay home.

In a statement of 18 December, the Samoa Meteorology Division said “The active convergence zone with embedded heavy downpours, thunderstorms and gusty winds remains slow moving over Samoa from the west. Periods of rain with heavy falls and thunderstorms as well as gusty winds are expected to affect the island chain through tomorrow. Increasing combine waves and swells of more than 4 metres are expected to impact coastal to open waters of Samoa tonight and will generate very rough seas and high surf for all of Samoa.”

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