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Daryl Ritchison, Published December 17 2012

Weather Talk: Tropical cyclone season off to a destructive start

In the Atlantic Ocean they are called hurricanes. In the western Pacific they are referred to as typhoons. In the southern Pacific and in the Indian Ocean they are referred to as tropical cyclones.

The tropical cyclone season is just beginning, and already one has brought devastation. Samoa and neighboring American Samoa were hit last week by Tropical Cyclone Evan. Evan was a Category 2 tropical cyclone when it made a direct hit on Upolu, the eastern of the two principle islands of Samoa. It then moved northeast, with the eye wall just missing American Samoa, and then it stalled and moved back toward Samoa, with the eye wall barely missing them again. That track kept high wind and torrential rainfall over the area for a few days.

Tragically, at least three deaths were attributed to Evan, with two of those deaths being young children. The storm then intensified into a Category 4 storm, headed southwest and had major impacts on Fiji on Monday.

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