Samoa’s Cyclone Evan death toll at 5; 11 still missing

Photo Credit: 
Faletuiga/Tina Mata'afa-Tufele
Samoa flags fly at the Samoa Tourism Authority Fale Samoa during the country's 50th Anniversary of Independence festivities, June 2012.

For public health concerns, water and sanitation is an issue at all evacuation centers due to lack of water and subsequent poor personal hygiene, causing concern for the risk of an outbreak of disease. The presence of rodents attracted to the camp waste is being discouraged through daily rubbish collection.

Due to lack of electricity, a number of food storage safety checks were initiated and 18 premises were closed due to lack of water. Food sellers are being checked to ensure the safety the public health. In response, nutritional guidance and hygiene maintenance notices are being broadcast via radio and by way of public notices in evacuation centers.
Increasing dust from dried river sediment is also an issue.

Water sampling is taking place, however analysis is not possible due to lack of electricity. The Health Sector has mobilized three (3) clinical teams of Ministry of Health (MOH) staff to visit all of Apia’s urban shelters. The National Health Service has similar responsibilities for Upolu’s rural shelters whilst maintaining normal outpatient and emergency services. The MOH has implemented their hazard assessment and risk management plan which allows for inspection and monitoring teams to be deployed every second day.


The Samoa Tourism Authority conducted a rapid assessment and reports that Cyclone Evan affected accommodation properties in Apia, Siumu, Salamumu and Safata. The hotels on the southern side of Upolu that were earlier affected by the 2009 tsunami, such as Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa, Coconuts Beach Club Resort & Spa, Maninoa Beach Fales, Sina PJ Beach Fales and Samoana Resort have also been affected.

The Ministry of Finance has established the “Cyclone Evan Special Purpose Account” to enable the public to make donations in support of those affected by the cyclone. Details below:
Bank account name: GOS Cyclone Evan
Account no: 4040880
Bank: ANZ Bank (Samoa) Ltd

A third Australian airlift, via a chartered Qantas 767, delivered emergency relief supplies to Samoa before Christmas, bringing more than 800 hygiene kits comprised of soap, towels, a torch, candles, batteries and other personal items.
Also included in the emergency relief were supplies of protective cleaning gear and generators from the Australian Federal Police for Samoa Police Service outstations.
The delivery followed a major airlift last Friday Dec. 21, where an Australian Defence Force C-17 delivered more than 28 tons of cargo including 5000+ insecticide nets, 2000+ tarpaulins and shelter kits.

“The supplies will make an important difference to affected families over Christmas and the New Year. Australia continues to work closely with the Government of Samoa and development partners to ensure vital humanitarian needs are met,” said Dr. Stephen Henningham, Australia’s High Commissioner to Samoa.

A third shipment of 20 pallets of relief supplies arrived from American Samoa overnight. The shipment of emergency assistance arrived late Sunday evening through the Governor’s Office and includes 12 pallets of bottled water, one pallet of canned goods and seven pallets of clothing and towels.