Cyclone hit Samoa 'like a bomb'
Fri, 14 Dec 2012 6:01p.m.
By Michael Morrah
New Zealand rap star Scribe has told 3 News of the terrifying moment he became one of the injury victims of Cyclone Evan.
He says it hit Samoa like a bomb, and Fiji and Tonga are next.
On the streets of Apia, very little stood up to the power of Evan. The category three storm hit yesterday afternoon, and kept lashing the tiny island of Upolu for more than 10 hours. At least 1500 people have been displaced.
Foreign Minister Murray McCully says the effects have been widespread.
“It's obviously extremely serious in the sense that there have been very big winds and the flooding has been very extensive.”
Many of the problems in the capital were caused by the river Vaisigano bursting its banks. The river runs through the capital alongside the well-known, historic hotel Aggie Grey's, and much of the hotel’s first floor is still underwater.
“To see seven or eight feet of water at Aggie Grey's in the middle of Apia is obviously not something you would expect,” says Mr McCully.
Southern parts of the island were also hit hard.
Scribe – who got married at Sinelai Resort on Wednesday – was relaxing in the presidential suite of the hotel when the windows were blown out.
“The windows just smashed in like an explosion and cut me and my new wife, and then [we] barricaded [ourselves] inside the bathroom,” he says. “I got some mattresses inside the bathroom. It actually seemed like a bomb the way it exploded.”
Cyclones in Samoa are not uncommon – Cyclone Heta in 2004 was a category five storm and caused widespread damage. But those who watched the latest one roll in say it was fierce.
The New Zealand High Commissioner to Apia, Nick Hurley, said the impact was sudden.
“It just suddenly took off like a jet engine. It went from being a storm to a real cyclone.”
Mr Hurley says police have confirmed three people have died. Seven others have been injured.
But Evan isn't done yet. It’s expected to become a stronger category four storm in the next 24 hours as it heads towards Fiji, where it's expected to make landfall late Sunday night.
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