Tropical Cyclone Evan Update 3, 13 December 2012

What are the current conditions?

The centre of Tropical Cyclone Evan is currently just south of Upolu and its movement has slowed somewhat from last night. The system continued to intensify overnight and is now a Category 2 tropical cyclone with winds of 130km per hour and gusts to 170km per hour near the centre.

Now that Tropical Cyclone Evan has crossed over Upolu Island it is expected to become stationary.

Tropical Cyclone Evan will remain slow moving tonight and early tomorrow before moving west-southwest. On this path it will pass close to the Niua Islands in northern Tonga on Saturday and then over eastern Fiji later on Sunday and Monday, most likely as a strong tropical cyclone (Category 3 or higher).

Government Departments in Samoa have closed and are scheduled to reopen at 12 PM tomorrow and the United Nations in Samoa has similarly closed.

What are the likely effects caused by Tropical Cyclone Evan?

If predictions that the system will become stationary are correct, then Samoa can expect little relief from the strong winds for the next twelve hours or longer.

Heavy rain is continuing over the majority of Samoa. Winds over northern Upolu will be coming from the west-northwest, which is the worst possible direction in so far as storm surge in Apia Harbour is concerned. The Samoa Meteorological Service has said that storm surges of between 3 and 3.65 meters are possible.

Typically, the effects associated with a Category 2 tropical cyclone include minor house damage, significant damage to trees and crops and the risk of power failures.

In Fiji, conditions remain fine but breezy and are expected to remain like this tomorrow and Saturday. As Tropical Cyclone Evan nears Fiji increasing cloud, rain and strengthening winds are expected, from Sunday.

Should the system pass northern Tonga and eastern Fiji as a Category 3 tropical cyclone destructive winds (165 –224km per hour) with some roof and structural damages and power failures are possible.

What countries will be affected?

Countries likely to be affected are Samoa, Tonga and Fiji.

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