Pacific nations on cyclone alert

15:18, January 24, 2011      

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Tropical Cyclone Wilma has hit American Samoa and triggered alerts in other island countries in the central South Pacific, Radio New Zealand International reported on Monday.

American Samoa's Emergency Center said the Category 1 storm has winds of up to 110 km/h and gusts in excess of 130 km/h.

The storm has hit eastern villages, downing power lines, and is due to sweep over the western island of Tutuila.

So far there have been some landslides and debris on the road reported, as well as minor damage to some roofs and houses.

A marine warning said there was a hazardous surf up to 5 meters high throughout the storm, causing some flooding.

Pago Pago International Airport is still closed and it's not clear when inter island flights can resume.

American Samoa Governor, Togiola Tulafono, has activated the Emergency Operations Center, bringing together ten government agencies for a coordinated response.

As the cyclone heads south, it will also affect Samoa's main island, Upolu.

An alert is also in place for Tonga's northern islands.

For Tokelau, an alert is still in force, but winds there are expected to ease.

Source: Xinhua

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