Cyclone Evan: Clean up continues in Samoa, Fiji

Elijah, 19 months, helps out with Cyclone Evan clean up in Alafua, Samoa. Photo / Vanessa/Supplied
Elijah, 19 months, helps out with Cyclone Evan clean up in Alafua, Samoa. Photo / Vanessa/Supplied

Thousands remain in evacuation centres as the clean-up continues in Samoa and Fiji in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Evan.

The official death toll after Evan battered Samoa on Thursday last week stands at five, although two people are missing on land (a 17-year-old man from Faleasiu and a 3-year-old carried away by flood waters at Lelata), and nine people remain missing from five fishing boats.

More than 5500 people are still being housed at 45 shelters across the country.

Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said the relief and recovery bill would run up to the hundreds of millions of dollars, with funds needed to fix water supplies, restore electricity, clear debris, rebuild public infrastructure and feed the thousands of people now displaced.

Twenty-eight 1000 litre water tanks are being installed around Upolu Island, while extra generators are being organised to improve electricity supply, as power production was cut by about 60 percent as a result of the cyclone.

Electric Power Corporation general manager Tologata Tile Tuimalealiifano said power should be restored to all Upolu households by the middle of next week.

There were yet to be any reports of fatalities in Fiji after the devastating cyclone struck the island nation at the beginning of the week.

More than 11,700 people remain in evacuation centres as damaged houses across the country are assessed, FijiVillage.com reports.

In the Northern Division alone, 20 schools have been identified as destroyed, according to Ministry of Education permanent secretary Dr Brij Lal.

Fiji's Ministry of Health was advising people to continue boiling water before drinking.

In Nadi, 60 percent of the city has normal power supply, however most areas now have water.

Temporary food and water is being shipped in to Yasawa Islands, as officials assess the damage on the islands.

Western division commissioner Joeli Cawaki said it could take six months to rebuild houses on the island.

There were signs of recovery, with power quickly restored in the hard-hit Lautoka City, communications networks up and running in the Northern Division, while in Ba 90 percent of the shops were cleaned up and in business, according to the Fijian Government.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Several charities have launched Tropical Cyclone Evan relief funds to assist affected communities in Samoa and Fiji.

* The New Zealand Red Cross is sending a team to Samoa to assist the Samoan Red Cross. You can donate to their Pacific Disaster Response Fund here.

* Oxfam is in Samoa surveying the damage and determining people's most urgent needs. Oxfam has been partnered with Woman in Development in Samoa since 1991, helping families to grow more food and boost their incomes. Donate to Oxfam's Cyclone Evan Appeal here, or call 0800 400 666.

* The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is on the ground in Samoa, working with the Samoan Disaster Management Office and providing food, water, blankets and clothing to those in need. To contribute to ADRA's Samoa Cyclone Evan Fund, phone ADRA on 0800 4 999 111 or donate online here.

* Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand has launched an Appeal for Pacific Cyclone Relief, and is committing an initial $15,000 towards emergency relief in Samoa. Caritas Samoa is sheltering more than 1000 people in its own basement hall and in three other centres in partnership with the Red Cross. Click here to see how to donate.

* ShelterBox has teams from New Zealand in Samoa and Fiji assessing what is required in each country. A ShelterBox is designed to help an extended family survive the aftermath of a disaster for at least six months. The kits contain a disaster relief tent for an extended family, stove, blankets and water filtration system, and other tools for survival. Donations to ShelterBox can be made here.

* Auckland Indian radio station Radio Tarana 1385am is raising funds for the Fiji Prime Minister's Cyclone Appeal. Donations can be deposited in ANZ account 01-0121-0134195-00.

- nzherald.co.nz

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