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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Ongoing Relief Efforts Underway In Samoa
As clean-up efforts begin, most of Upolu still without power

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 18, 2012) – Disaster relief officials in Samoa are struggling to assess the damage of Cyclone Evan which struck the country last week, killing five people.

27 evacuation centers are providing temporary accommodation for more than 4,000 people who were displaced by the cyclone and associated flooding.

A spokesperson for the Disaster Management Office, Filomena Nelson, says 50 to 70 percent of the island is still without electricity but the Power Corporation is aiming to get all power back by the end of Friday.

Ms. Nelson says the damage was so wide-spread across the main island of Upolu that officials haven’t been able to visit every village yet but says they are hoping to get people back home where possible.

"The government has started a clean up within the affected areas in terms of assisting to clear the debris from where their houses are so that they can go back and start rebuilding again."

Filomena Nelson says the search is continuing for eight missing people, including five fishermen.

[PIR editor’s note: Samoa Farmers' Association President Afamasaga Toleafoa says the damage from Evan was concentrated on Upolu and will have a significant impact on local food supplies. He estimates between six to eight months before food production returns to normal. Elsewhere, the world-famous Aggie Grey's Hotel reportedly suffered severe damage from flash flooding, which destroyed a large portion of the property. Including furniture, equipment, beddings and the pool, which are said to have been "destroyed" in the cyclone, damages are estimated in the millions.]

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