Samoa has been hit by a hail storm so rare that it was believed to be a hoax by many of the island’s inhabitants. The tropical nation of Samoa lies in the Pacific Ocean, where the average temperature at this time of year is 29C. But on Friday evening an unexpected hail storm struck the eastern side of the island of Savai’i, accompanied by heavy rain and strong wind gusts.

It was only the second time since records began that hail has fallen on Samoa, the first was in 2011. The storm lasted 10 to 15 minutes and produced hail stones roughly 2cm wide. “The ice was very small and there were no reports of damage,” said Luteru Tauvale, principal meteorologist for the Samoan Meteorology Service. READ MORE