Fairfax Media Network

Weather News

New storms brew in Pacific

Wednesday January 23, 2013 - 06:15 EDT

Samoa has escaped a threat from cyclone Garry, but other potential cyclonic systems are brewing for the Pacific region.

Cyclone Garry has been downgraded as it moves toward French Polynesia and the Cook Islands.

But forecasters say it may intensify again - towards category four - as it reaches the Cooks in about 24 hours.

Overnight Garry became a category one cyclone - lowered from category two. But observers warn it is unpredictable.

Samoa was on high alert, with the storm hitting a month after cyclone Evan ravaged the country and severely damaged the capital, Apia.

High winds have also been battering American Samoa.

Earlier, Mulipola Titimaea, from Samoa's National Disaster Management Office, told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat the system was unpredictable.

Busy season

Mr Titimaea said it was similar to last month's devastating cyclone Evan "in character and formation, so we've learnt from that it's unpredictable."

The forecaster said: "If you compare it with (tropical cyclone) Evan . . . Evan was predicted to move south-west, but it moved north-east."

Garry was a very small system. "Some forecasters and scientists call them 'black swan' because it's hard to pick up the intensity from the radar centre."

Mr Titimaea said there was another depression to the east but it is very weak. "There's also an interesting one to the west (by Vanuatu and Solomon Islands) which could be forming again where the depression of Garry formed.

"It's a very busy season for us Pacific forecasters."

Two hundred school students in Fiji will take classes in temporary shelters for at least a month after damage caused by cyclone Evan.

Schools reopened this week for the first time since cyclone Evan hit in December, causing an estimated $US43 million damage.

Manasa Tagicakibau, director of the National Disaster Management Office, says the rebuilding of school buildings damaged by Evan continues, so temporary shelters have been erected.

"We have had 14 schools that were badly damaged, and these were the schools that we've erected temporary shelters for," the director sid.

"Apart from those 134 schools, other schools were badly damaged which the school children can still use the buildings while repair work carries on."


- ABC

© ABC 2013

More breaking news

Sydney Morning Herald
ABC News
National Nine News
News Limited

Display Your Local Weather

Weather News

Cheeky fox suspected to be making regular contribution to WA farmer's BOM rain gauge

18:43 EST

A West Australian farmer who collects rainfall data for the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) suspects his precipitation is not just falling from the sky, with a fox making regular contributions to his rain gauge.

Outbak soaking to spread east

17:57 EST

A month's worth of rain has fallen in Western Australia's Interior during the past two days.

China landslide: Hopes fade for 93 missing after disaster

15:27 EST

Rescue workers in China have pulled bodies out of piles of rock and mud as they searched for 93 people missing a day after a landslide buried a mountain village, with some residents giving up hope of finding survivors.