Maximum winds gusts of up to 130 mph were reported as the heart of Cyclone Evan passed through the island group, which straddles the International Dateline.
Journalist Cherelle Jackson the Australian Broadcasting Corp. that there was heavy damage in the Samoan capital of Apia, with houses flattened by the storm.
Many open-style Samoan homes, which are called "fales," were heavily damaged.
The walkway of the international terminal at Samoa’s Faleolo Airport was said to have collapsed during the storm.
Tourists were awdvised to move from the beach to interior parts of the island and shelter in schools or government offices.
Evan was predicted to gain strength after it left Samoa and took aim on Fiji.
Forecasters predicted it could achieve Category 3 force before reaching the island nation.
Cyclone Evan Track
Satellite Loop Data: CIMSS