Cyclone Wilma Moves to Tonga, Still Stormy Here

The most recent satellite image shows, uh, continuing brown with a chance of yellow and red.

The wind has died down over the last few hours. We’re still getting occasional strong gusts and heavy rain. If I had to make a prediction (which I’m completely unqualified to do, but that’s never stopped me before) I’d say we’ve got at least two more days of steady wind and rain, but in gradually smaller doses. The rest of the weather we get from this system will probably be more annoying than dangerous.

Samoanews.com is reporting that the island has suffered more damage from today’s rough weather, mostly to roads and house roofs. None of it seems terribly serious and I still haven’t seen any reports of deaths or serious injuries.

As you can see from the image above, Wilma is still going strong. She’s right over Tonga now and has become a Category 2 Cyclone, with a good chance of being upgraded to Category 3. The most recent reports I’ve read described the northern islands of Tonga being hit with 75 mph sustained winds and gusts over 100 mph. Our thoughts are with the Tongan people as they bear the brunt of a storm that obviously could have been a lot worse for us. I read some news stories claiming that Tonga is well-prepared for this storm and expects to get through it without much damage. I hope they’re right.

Tonga and Samoa share a lot of cultural and linguistic similarities. There are several hundred Tongans living in American Samoa, although I haven’t personally gotten to know any of them. I do know that Tongan kava (or ‘ava in Samoan) is pretty popular here and if the cyclone disrupts kava production there will be quite a few sad Samoans.

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