Cyclone Wilma: 4:30pm

The official “All Clear” hasn’t been issued yet, but it’s pretty clear the worst is behind us. The sky is getting a little lighter, the rain has mostly abated, and although we still have some strong gusts the wind has quieted considerably since this morning.

This image shows Wilma safely to the south of American Samoa:

The satellite images show some more wind and rain headed our way, but those systems to our north and northwest aren’t rotating. That means lower wind speeds and less danger.

Some damage reports are trickling in: several houses in Aua have lost their roofs, the village of Faleasao in the Manu’a Islands was evacuated, and there have been mudslides and downed power lines all over the territory. You can read a news story about Cyclone Wilma from Radio New Zealand International here.

We’ve been very fortunate that, as hurricanes go, this one was pretty mild. I haven’t heard any reports of deaths or serious injuries. It’s headed towards the Kingdom of Tonga now and gaining energy along the way, so our best wishes are with the Tongan people as they prepare to face a bigger, stronger Wilma.

I’ll try to post some pictures and video later this evening or tomorrow. Right now I’m going to try to get some rest.

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