Safety worries mount as Samoa gears up for cyclone warning

The Don Bosco College bus on shaky ground as it tried to cross the Sapapalii flooded stream yesterday afternoon. Photo from facebook

By Rula Su’a  – Vaai

APIA, SAMOA – FRIDAY 09 FEBRUARY 2018: The Disaster Management Office and the Meteorology Office at Mulinu’u have issued stern warnings to ensure public safety as heavy rains caused flooding of rivers and low lying residential areas.

A Tropical Cyclone warning Category 1 (39-45mph) will be effective as of 2 tomorrow afternoon according to the latest weather update at 2 this afternoon.

DMO issued a stern warning to the public especially drivers to be vigilant when crossing flooded rivers, following an incident in Savai’i yesterday afternoon where the Don Bosco Vocational College bus was nearly washed away at Sapapali’i.

Reports from police in Savaii said no one was injured in the bus incident as there were no passengers on the bus. The bus had just dropped off its passengers who are mainly college students and was on its way back to the college. The driver, who is a Priest at the college escaped injuries.

Meanwhile, DMO is making a “Better to be Safe” call on families and residents along the river banks and low lying areas to move to safer grounds until the weather is stable.

Early this week some families in the Apia area called Emergency services for help with the rising waters reaching into their homes.

Rising waters around homes around the Vaisigano river

DMO is also warning the public traveling on the East Coast Road, to be on the alert for landslides and debris along the road. There is a possibility of more landslides affecting the route due to intense and heavy downpours expected in the weekend.

Families living on river banks especially along the Vaisigano River have been forced to evacuate.

The Ministry of Health has also issued warnings to boil drinking water and be clean in food preparations before consumption.

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