SAMOA (HawaiiNewsNow) - A State of Emergency has been declared in Samoa after it was struck by Cyclone Evan. Samoa is getting hit not once, but twice as the storm is doubling back over the islands.
Pictures from Samoa show neighborhoods flooded, cars smashed and destroyed and bridges damaged. One photo shows a family trying to salvage what they can from their home after the roof was blown off. Another shot is from Lynn's Supermarket packed with people trying to get supplies.
The worst part is it's not over. The storm passed Samoa once and is now turning around to hit again.
"It was pretty much like an elastic band it got stretched into place and now it's coming right back so it stretched all the way to the east and now it's working its way back. So the places that got hit on the way by are now getting hit again on the way back. So it's a pretty devastating storm," said Mike Cantin, National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist.
Winds are between 85 to 110 miles per hour yet it also parked itself over the island.
"Because the storm is moving so slowly all that heavy rain is just dumping and dumping in the same areas and overwhelms the water systems and you end up with quite a bit of flooding," said Cantin.
Three people including two children have reportedly been killed.
Coastal residents have been evacuated to higher ground.
"Mostly from low lying areas to high hills to secure places," said Silipa Mulitalo, Samoa Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Meteorology.
Power and water is out. Phone service has been sporadic. Deutsch Pu'u was born and raised in Samoa. He moved to Hawaii a year and a half ago. His family in American Samoa is safe. But he hasn't been able to contact family in Samoa. It's enough to make the professional kick boxer defenseless.
"To hear what's going on at home and not be there to help out or provide aid to anybody in need it's a helpless feeling. I feel helpless. There is nothing I can do but literally pray and hope everybody comes out all right," said Pu'u.
American Samoa, which is about 150 miles east from Samoa, was spared from the brunt of the storm. Although as a precaution Hawaiian Airlines delayed today's flight to Pago Pago by 24 hours.
*** ISSUED BY SAMOA METEOROLOGICAL SERVICES
Tropical Cyclone Evan was moving north-northwest at 6 mph and is located 43 miles north of Apia, 47 miles north-northeast of Faleolo or 43 miles east-northeast of Avao at 12 p.m.
TC Evan is expected to move west then southwest and may relocate at about 50 miles northwest of Apia or 20 miles north-northeast of Avao at 8pm this evening.
Hurricane force winds of 70-95 mph within 15 nautical miles from the centre
Storm force winds of 55-70 mph within 25 nautical miles from the centre.
Gale force winds of 35-50 mph within 40 miles from the centre
For Upolu: Southern side: East to southeast winds of 50-70 mph with higher gusts at times mainly at exposed areas.
Northern side: East to northeast winds of 50-70 mph with higher gusts at times mainly at exposed areas. Poor visibility in heavy rain. Damaging storm surges of 12-16 feet and very rough seas. Periods of occasional rain, moderate to heavy falls at some areas with thunderstorms.
For Savaii: South to southeast winds of 50-70 mph, with higher gusts mainly at exposed areas. Poor visibility in heavy rain. Seas very rough with damaging storm surge of 12-16 feet. Periods of rain, heavy at times with thunderstorms.
A high surf advisory remains in effect for all islands of American Samoa. Small craft should remain in port.
Here is the forecast for Tutuila, Aunuu, Manua & Swains
Today, occasional showers...heavy at times with isolated thunderstorms. Highs in the lower 80s. Northeast winds 30 to 40 mph with higher gusts.
Tonight...scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 70s. Northeast winds 20 to 30 mph with higher gusts.
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