Tropical storm hits American Samoa with outages, some damage

Images from Apia show the extent of flooding on February 10

Images from Apia show the extent of flooding on February 10. Source 1 NEWS

Cyclone Gita's arrival comes as the country is already dealing with another situation; after declaring an outbreak of dengue fever just over a week ago.

Tropical Cyclone Gita passed by Samoa on 10 February 2018 and Niue on 11 February 2018, with damages reported in Samoa, including localized flooding.

The outbreak was declared following the death of 12-year-old New Zealand girl Toafei Telefoni, who died at a local hospital after contracting the disease while visiting the country.

Gita will strengthen to the equivalent of a weak Category 4 Atlantic Hurricane Monday, according to CNN meteorologist Michael Guy. It was doing a a U-turn and was expected to head west for several days.

On its current track, TC Gita was forecast to pass close to or over Tongatapu this morning and met officials said it carried the potential for major destruction and loss of life.

Kumar says that before it approaches, strong winds can possibly expand to the whole of Fiji while damaging gale force to strong force winds can expand over the Western and Southern parts of Fiji as it comes closer.

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He also called for the need of a quick resumption of dialogue between North Korea and the United States. Security Council to impose its toughest sanctions yet in a bid to get the North to stop.

The cyclone is now around 315 kilometres east of Tongatapu and moving towards the island at around 27 km/h.

Gita was starting to form an eye.

The Tongan Meteorological and Coast Radio Services have issued a hurricane warning for Tongatapu and 'Eua.

By early Tuesday average wind speeds were expected to be 165kmh, with gusts to 200kmh.

The Metservice also warned of huge coastal swells and flooding of low-lying areas.

The Tonga met service said the country should feel the worst of the Cyclone Gita, which is now a category four storm, around midnight. The Pacific Humanitarian Team, through its partners, stands ready to support the people and governments of the countries affected by Tropical Cyclone Gita should a request be made for worldwide assistance.

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