Samoa fishermen still missing, 4,500 people in shelters
APIA -- Samoa government reports that a total of 10 people including fishermen who were on board three fishing boats are missing while four are still confirmed dead following cyclone Evan last week.
Over the weekend, an aircraft from the New Zealand government conducted the search and rescue operation for three missing alia fishing boats and their crew. The fishermen left earlier in the week before the cyclone developed, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s office.
The aircraft also conducted aerial imaging of the damage to Samoa from the cyclone to complement the on-ground assessments, which is on going for both Upolu and Savai’i islands as reports are being compiled.
The number of displaced persons sheltered at various facilities around the capital has increased to over 4,500 as of Sunday morning in Samoa. Most of the displaced is due to the flooding of the Vaisigano River in Apia.
The shelters are coping with food but there is increasing demand for safe drinking water. There is also a growing need for clothing and linen. The shelters are being supervised and staffed in a co-operation between the Health Ministry, Education Ministry, Caritas and the Samoa Red Cross Society.
The statement also noted that the pallets o relief supplies - water, clothing, canned food and other supplies - from American Samoa arrived Sunday night in Apia. This cyclone relief is coordinated by Gov. Togiola Tulafono’s office.
The statement quotes Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi - chairman of the National Disaster Council - saying that estimate costs of the cyclone damage is “probably no less than $300 million”
He said the most costly part of reconstruction includes the rebuilding of schools, roads and restoring power lines.
STATE OF EMERGENCY
Samoa’s Head of State, Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi has issued a Proclamation of Emergency, saying that after consultation with Cabinet, “[I] am satisfied that a grave emergency exists whereby the security or economic life of Samoa is threatened by natural catastrophe caused by Cyclone Evan and therefore DECLARE that a state of emergency exists in Samoa for 30 days.”
Electricity supply is now available in the Central Business District to Mulinuu, Tanugamanono to Letogo, and from town to Lotopa.
Land Transport Authority (LTA) have deployed contractors to clear main access roads. The coastal road network have been cleared except for Tiavi.
Samoa Water Authority (SWA) is continuing its restoration efforts in restoring Alaoa plant. Fuluasou Reservoir is now able to supply water.
All ports are safe. The only issue is the debris from the flood. Mulifanua is closed due to power outage. Samoa Ports Authority (SPA) was also engaged by Police to assist with the search for the fishing boat.
Samoa News online will provide later in the day any new updates from the Prime Minister’s Office.