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Evan called “Wolf who came when no one was ready”

reporters@samoanews.com

Describing Tropical Cyclone Evan as a “wolf who came when no one was ready,” residents of Samoa are reaching out to the world through Facebook and blogs to recount the toll the storm has taken on them and their country.

Reports from the Associated Press, Facebook and blogs are the only sources of information about the effects of Tropical Cyclone Evan on Samoa, as landlines are down and power out, and Samoa News has been unable to get an official assessment of the damage through Samoa government authorities.

In the AP story, out of Sydney, Australia, its reported that New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully said on Friday (our Thursday) that there were reports three people had been killed by Cyclone Evan, but police in Samoa have not confirmed that yet.

“The storm lashed Samoa with winds of up to 165 kilometers (100 miles) per hour. Samoa Observer editor Keni Lesa says the cyclone caused serious damage in the capital Apia, flinging cars into trees and causing flash floods. Phone lines, Internet service and electricity were down across the country, and the airport was closed,” according to the AP.  “Lesa says the village of Lelata just outside Apia looks ‘like a tsunami has struck’ it.”

The first photos of Evan’s path through Samoa were posted on “Go the Manu” Facebook page. The page is the ‘go to’ place for Samoans abroad who are viewing and sharing photos of the cyclone, and it has a message for Samoans off island who have families in Samoa.

“For those overseas, if you want to purchase goods for your families in Samoa, log on to www.faalavelave.com and make a purchase from Lynn’s Supermarket at Moto'otua and from there they will contact your family via text or they will call them that the order is ready.”

One woman on her Facebook page said over 300 people were rescued or relocated Wednesday night from Apia, because the Vaisigano river jumped its banks yesterday.

Savali News in Samoa, on their website posted that Maluafou Bridge is cracked in the middle and is no longer accessible.

A resident of Vailima posted on her page that ‘everyone was caught off guard’ is an understatement.

“Every year around this time we get cyclone warnings and everyone runs around boarding up their houses and nothing happens.”

The woman described Evan as a wolf who came when no one was ready.

“I think the notices the day before were weak and should have outlined the "true risk" and highly likely nature that Evan would be a potential killer,” she said.

“Everyone next to the rivers and surrounding areas should have been evacuated early in the morning and not when high tide neared and flash floods almost swept away half of Apia.”

“Praying for those less fortunate and the Heroes who have to work and assist others in their time of need.”

She said the ground in Apia is covered with thick mud.  

Several residents of Samoa say, some parts of the main access roads in Apia and all over Samoa, are inaccessible due to fallen trees and electricity polls and lines.

Water is only available for critical services such as the hospital, and electricity is out for the whole country.

A majority of the shops and businesses are closed except for some little supermarkets, and availability of ATM services is not known but most likely none are available due to power outages. The airports are closed, as well as the ports.

Government offices are closed to normal services in order for them to provide emergency response.

Flights in and out of the island- nation reportedly resumed this morning.



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