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Cyclone Garry intensifies, heads for Cook Islands

Published: 5:52PM Tuesday January 22, 2013 Source: ONE News

Residents of Samoa are breathing a sigh of relief as Cyclone Garry moves away from the Pacific nation just over a month after it was battered by Cyclone Evan.

However, the category one storm is likely to intensify as it moves southeast where it could threaten the Cook Islands and French Polynesia.

The Samoa Meteorological Service estimates that Cyclone Garry is currently sitting around 200km north east of Samoa and says is likely to bring spells of heavy rain and downpours to capital Apia as it moves south.

American Samoa - to the west of Samoa - has been experiencing high winds that have closed schools, government offices and ports.

As the weather system intensifies over the next 24-48 hours, it is likely to be upgraded to a category two or three tropical cyclone.

The storm is expected to track a curve to the south east, towards the Cook Islands and French Polynesia and could bring winds in excess of 100km/h.