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Deforestation blamed for flash floods in Samoa

EPC: Pipes at the Magiagi sub-village of Ueligitone, were scattered haphazardly by the force of the water and the debris during Cyclone Evan. [Photo/Kerstln Ofisa]

Deforestation blamed for flash floods
Monday, 21 January 2013 19:10
Jasmine Netzler
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[EPC: Pipes at the Magiagi sub-village of Ueligitone, were scattered haphazardly by the force of the water and the debris during Cyclone Evan. Photo/Kerstln Ofisa.]

EPC: Pipes at the Magiagi sub-village of Ueligitone, were scattered haphazardly by the force of the water and the debris during Cyclone Evan. Photo/Kerstln Ofisa.
The General Manager of the Electric Power Corporation Tologata Tile Le'ia has denied claims that the flash floods during Cyclone Evan were caused by the Alaoa dam breaking through.

Instead he has placed the blame squarely back on those who have been logging.

He has also noted that houses have sprung up around where the pipes are situated pointing out that they were not there when the pipes were installed.

Magiagi residents from the sub-village of Ueligitone which was severely affected by the floods, had suggested the dam break was the reason for the unprecedented flow and rise in water levels.

“There is no dam at Alaoa. What we have there is a header pond a small water storage that can only take a certain volume of water and there’s no confirmation that it was damaged or that it was the cause of the flash floods.”

The only dam in the country is Afulilo and it stores 10 million cubic metres of water, he said.

Tologata said what happened was that there was just too much water when the rivers broke through that day.

He claimed that this is why government is very adamant about deforestation.

“Since there was too much logging in the area, when the heavy rains came, they washed all of those logs down towards the river and when it reached the header pond, it filled it up.

The header pond in the area was also filled with logs washed into storage by the water and this blocked the flow going out.



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