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Samoa escapes worst cyclone
www.chinaview.cn 2005-02-17 14:39:18

    WELLINGTON, Feb. 17 (Xinhuanet) -- Cyclone Olaf has left Samoa mostly unscathed but continues to hover off the coast of American Samoa with gusts up to 240kmh predicted to cause damage, New Zealand Press Association (NZPA) reported Thursday.

    Further south, Cyclone Nancy was also forecast to skip past the Cook Islands Wednesday night.

    New Zealand High Commissioner to Samoa John Adank, who is also Consul-General to American Samoa, told NZPA Thursday morning that Cyclone Olaf had largely passed north of Samoa and the main American Samoan islands of Manua.

    "Samoa's been very very lucky with the track the cyclone took yesterday," he said.

    "Overnight we had some gusts of high winds and tree branches have been coming down, but no trees that I've seen so far, large trees, as you would normally expect.

    "Effectively, the country seems to have got through without terribly much damage," Adank said, adding there were no reports of injuries.

    He said the High Commission would reopen tomorrow (Thursday in Samoa which is 24 hours behind New Zealand) after computers and other equipment stored in preparation for the cyclone had been re-installed.

    Adank believed the main island of American Samoa would also have had some high winds but nothing too devastating.

    In Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, Cyclone Nancy left schools closed for Wednesday as roofing and tree branches blew dangerously around villages.

    Nancy missed the main island of Rarotonga by about 100km but big seas caused damage around the coast.

    Tourists were evacuated from Aitutaki to the main island of Rarotonga and no injuries were reported. Enditem

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