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Cyclone Gita upgraded to category three cyclone

February 10, 2018 4:27 pm

Authorities in Samoa have been assessing damage from Cyclone Gita, which was upgraded to a category three storm last night as it headed towards Niue.

It was expected to pass just east of Niue, lashing the country with gale force winds.

Restoring power, clearing roads and supporting people affected by Cyclone Gita is the focus for Samoa emergency officials but no deaths or injuries have been reported

A state of disaster has been declared in the country in the wake of Cyclone Gita.

Samoa’s National Disaster Committee met Saturday afternoon to discuss the status and effects of damage caused by the category two cyclone.

The committee said the Electric Power Corporation was working overtime to restore power to areas around the country, asking people to please be patient as they attempt to fix downed power lines.

Strong winds caused damage to power lines across Samoa, cutting electricity to thousands of households.

Electricity has been restored in urban areas including Toomatagi, Vaivase, Faatoia, Moataa, Vaitele, Toamua, Puipaa, Faleula, Aleisa to part of Ululoloa, Siusega and Tuanaimato.

The Land Transport Authority was also working to clear roads for major arterial routes.

Updates from the Samoa Tourism Authority for Savai’i indicate medium damage to beach fale accommodation with the major issues being electricity and telephone outages, and a lack of water supply in some areas.

For Upolu, in the Apia area Sheraton guests have been evacuated to Sheraton Mulifanua, Tanoa and Hotel Insel Fehrman.

Evacuation centres remain open for some 244 people who sought shelter.

Red Cross secretary general Namulauulu Tautala Mauala said they were providing blankets, clothing and medical attention, particularly to older evacuees.

The government said there had been no reports of any casualties as a result of Tropical Cyclone Gita.

The New Zealand government said an experienced emergency management adviser from New Zealand was in Samoa.

Minister of Civil Defence Kris Faafoi said a person with experience during emergencies was on the ground and ready to start work to help the response effort.