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

ABC News
Sydney Morning Herald
National Nine News
News Limited

Display Your Local Weather

Weather News

Flooding forecast for Adelaide Hills as sandbags are offered to residents

12:31 EST

Adelaide is poised to smash its May rainfall average as the city braces for heavy rain amid warnings of localised flash flooding.

Future clear for north coast rescue helicopter but fog concerns linger

12:24 EST

Questions continue to be asked about the location of a new rescue helicopter base on the New South Wales far north coast.

Youth, passion and nostalgia see sheep return to remote Boulia property

10:34 EST

While many are struggling to stay in the sheep industry, one grazier's passion for sheep and wool is seeing him get back into it.