India's Gujarat state braces for most severe cyclone in over two decades

Cyclone Tauktae has killed at least 12 people and left a trail of destruction as it brushed past the coastal states of Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra, authorities said.

It is set to make landfall in Gujarat late on Monday.

"This will be the most severe cyclone to hit Gujarat in at least 20 years. This can be compared with the 1998 cyclone that hit Kandla and inflicted heavy damage," state revenue secretary Pankaj Kumar told Reuters.

The cyclone increases pressure on local administrations already struggling with a high caseload of Covid-19 infections.

Chance of cyclone developing near Samoas

Heavy rain and strong wind warnings have been issued for Samoa and American Samoa, which have already been lashed by two tropical depressions this week.

In American Samoa, wind speeds of up to 65 km/h, with expected gusts of up to 100 km/h, were forecast on Friday morning (Thursday, local time).

Chief meteorologist at the National Weather Service in American Samoa, Elinor Lutu McMoore, said this latest system developed quickly.

Concerns in Samoa over lack of updates on Cyclone Gita

Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has also voiced his concern, calling for an urgent review of radio stations and transmission masts.

He said it was lucky the cyclone was not a major one for the country.

Local journalist, Tuiasau Uelese Petaia, said the main AM radio station in Samoa wasn't working during the cyclone

He said locals wanted to be kept informed about the storm especially when they lost power.

Meet the storm chaser who gets a thrill from severe weather

"I was the kid that Mum used to yell out to get off the patio and stop sitting outside watching the lightning and the thunderstorms," he told ABC News Breakfast.

The freelance cameraman and passionate storm chaser has spent the last seven years chasing storms in Australia and travelling to the US to volunteer as a driver for tourist groups wanting to experience the same thrills.

Tornados are the big attraction in America and he's seen 63 in just the last few years. He also raced to meet Cyclone Yasi, which tore through Queensland in 2011.

Cyclone warning issued for Northern Cooks

The Fiji Met services says a tropical disturbance, which has been hovering over the northern Cook Islands over the last few days, has developed into a tropical cyclone.

It says cyclone Victor, a category two system, is moving southwest at nine kilometres an hour, and that close to the centre the cyclone is expected to have average winds of 92 kilometers an hour.

Reports of flooding in Samoa as cyclone continues to develop

The country's Meteorological Office said a tropical depression to the west of the country continued to intensifying into a tropical cyclone, and issued several cyclone warnings throughout the day.

In an update on Saturday evening, the office said the system was about 202 kilometres west-southwest of Asau, on the northwestern coast of Savai'i, and about 278 kilometres west-southwest of Apia.

Samoas on alert as likely cyclone nears

The country's Meteorological Service says the system is about 550km northwest of Savai'i and 650km northwest of the capital, Apia.

It is expected to move east-southeast at nine knots and slowly intensify into a tropical cyclone overnight as it nears the country.

Warnings in Samoa as cyclone develops

The country's meteorological service says a tropical disturbance is developing about 650 kilometres northwest of Savai'i, and 750 kilometres northwest of the capital, Apia.

A spokesperson said the system was slowly moving southeast towards Samoa and was likely to intensify into a category one cyclone sometime this afternoon.

Cyclone shift

Kumar says there is a possibility that the country should expect to have Fiji cyclone season earlier instead of November, the usual month.

He said the official Tropical Cyclone season was from November to April, but records showed cyclones occurred outside the official tropical cyclone season.

“The current El Nino has a potential to change the distribution and frequency of tropical cyclones in the region. Please note that apart from August and September, tropical cyclones have occurred in all other months in the South Pacific,” Kumar said.

One dead and 16 missing in the Solomons after cyclone Raquel

More than 150 buildings were damaged or destroyed after tropical cyclone Raquel swept through the Islands last week.

One person was killed after being hit by a falling tree and a further 16 people are missing.

The category one storm swept through the southern part of the country before being downgraded to a Tropical Depression on Thursday evening.

Initial reports from the National Emergency Operations Centre show thousands of food gardens have been damaged or destroyed across the islands with over 40-thousand damaged in the southern region of Malaita alone.