Government Updates

6pm, 24 DEC, Status update of Cyclone Evan Recovery Efforts

The death toll stands at five (5), with a total of eleven (11) persons still missing (9 lost at sea, 2 on land).

Data of the Initial Damage Assessment has been compiled, and maps (attached at the end of this Press Release) have been created from available data to indicate the areas (largely the flooded zone) where there are a high number of homes completely devastated, and the largest number of displaced people are noted as being from urban areas. This has related sanitation concerns given problems with inconsistent reticulated water supply in parts of this area.
Villages in rural areas of Upolu also suffered losses of completely destroyed houses and displaced people, with the most significant damage and displacement in the districts of Lefaga, Safata, Siumu Falealili and Fagaloa.  A short summary provided by the Disaster Management Office (DMO) has been included below.

Level of Damage                    Total # houses with damage   Total # people affected
Minor                                      353                                          3208

Major                                       462                                          3569

Completely destroyed             526                                          3763

TOTAL                                  1,341                                       10,540

A number of households may have already evacuated at the time the data was collected, therefore it is possible the actual number of displaced households and damaged houses have not been accounted for.  In addition, a number of villages earlier reported to have minimal or no damage, were later visited and confirmed to be severely affected. A plan is in development to revisit many of the villages to reassess the data, and also to identify any villages that may have been missed.

The images of the Cyclone’s impact in some of Upolu’s villages have been geo-referenced and a map has been created and attached.  This map provides a visual of the impacts in the areas covered by the imagery reconnaissance conducted by the P3 Orion of the New Zealand Defence Force.

Supply has been restored to the following locations: the Central Business District from Matautu to Mulinuu, Tanugamanono to parts of Letogo and Moataa; Vaitele and Vaitele-Fou to Toamua and from the Chinese Embassy to the Matautu Wharf and Tuanaimato to Tanumapua.
Due to severe damage to the pen stocks for the hydro power plant at Lalomauga, the Electric Power Corporation has revised its plans to reinstate the power supply from this plant as early as possible by instigating the hirage of generators from development partners overseas to help minimize disruptions.
Two teams of linesman from Savaii are currently assisting in the Safata, Siumu and Falealili areas.  The extra manpower will help hasten repair work, as electricity supply is also critical to power water pumps for water circulation.

Supply to the following areas has been restored: Vaivase Uta, Vaivase Tai, Magiagi, Moataa, Apia Park, Vaiala, Vaipuna, Matautu Uta, Matautu Tai, Apia, Aai o Niue, Maluafou, Faatoia, part of Lelata, Maagao, Vailele, Vailima, Papaloloa, Papauta, Leufisa, Tanugamanono, Motootua Hospital area, Taufusi, Saleufi, Vaimea to Lepea, Alamagoto, Moamoa to Vaitele, Siusega going westwards to Leulumoega Tuai. 
Supply to the Tupua Tamasese Meaole hospital at Motootua is now fully restored.
Establishment of water refilling stations for the public has started with two tanks installed behind the John Williams Building and another two at Malifa. The remaining tanks will be distributed and installed at strategic locations as they become available.
The rural water supply schemes that are yet to be fully restored include Aleisa, Tafitoala, Faleapuna, Tiavi, Aleipata, Saanapu and Salamumu, and Tiavea Uta & Tai. Samoa Water Authority teams are distributing generators to enable pumping of water from village boreholes.

Water and sanitation is an issue at all evacuation centres 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 eighteen (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 centres.
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 mobilised 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 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 yesterday, 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.
Yesterday’s delivery follows a major airlift last Friday 21st December, 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 twenty (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 twelve (12) pallets of bottled water, one (1) pallet of canned goods and seven (7) pallets of clothing and towels.

SUNGO, or the Samoa Umbrella for Non-Governmental Organisations, had its first meeting with its members on Sat 21st December. The Disaster Management Office (DMO) attended and advised them to focus on the psycho–social aspects for those affected.
The ANZ Bank has donated ST$100,000 to Caritas for its relief programmes.   
Samoa Red Cross has now refocused its efforts to the distribution of bedding and clothing as the DMO has taken responsibility for all welfare centre distributions etc.  Red Cross is also assisting with latrine pit construction and community water supply in conjunction with its water and sanitation sector responsibilities.

The major coastal road networks and inland road networks have been cleared.  All contractors are now focusing on clearing debris from the flood affected area.
Faleolo Airport is operating.
Shipping services operating as normal.

Areas affected by flooding during Cyclone Evan have been divided in to zones with a total of sixteen (16) contractors deployed, using 100 trucks to transport debris to the Tafaigata Landfill.
Approximately 40 percent of debris has already been removed from the Apia area.  Clean up in Tafitoala, Lotofaga, Safata, and Luatuanuu has started with waste removal for Nuusuatia scheduled to start on Thursday 27th December. 

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 Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) have conducted an initial environmental assessment with plans for a more thorough assessment in early 2013 that will include Savaii. Severe forest damage is on the southern coast of Upolu from the Lefaga District to Falealii District. Mt Vaea in north central Upolu was also severely impacted due to its exposed aspect.  The lowland areas of Upolu appear to have sustained greater damage.
Concern has also been expressed for bird species, already under threat, which have now lost their habitat and are more vulnerable.  MNRE are recommending a public education campaign to encourage preservation of native flora and fauna.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) reports that the worst hit areas are Lefaga, Salamumu, Safata, Siumu, and Falealili Districts, including Aleisa and Cross-Island Road. In these areas, there is 100 percent loss of Banana trees, 50 percent loss of Breadfruit and 80 percent loss of other economically important crops (i.e. cocoa, citrus, and coffee).  Root crops suffered a 30 percent loss. Livestock data is still being gathered, and there is estimated to be minimal damage to coastal fisheries. 

The Disaster Management Distribution Centres will be closed on Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th of December and will resume operations on Thursday 27th December.

8pm, 21 December 2012
Status Check on Cyclone Evan Response Efforts from Samoa Govt Press Office

The death toll remains at five.  In total, 11 people are still missing (9 lost at sea and 2 missing from the Vaisigano Basin).

Two crews of Electric Power Corporation (EPC) linesmen based in Savaii have now joined and are assisting the teams in Upolu.
General Manager Tologata Tile Tuimalealiifano, says the main intake and headrace feeding water to Alaoa head pond for Alaoa Hydro Power Station was wrecked by a landslide. 
Flooding damage undermined footings of the penstock (pipe) that feeds Samasoni Power Station, which provides cooling for the main diesel generation plant at Tanugamanono.  Tologata says that the Samasoni pond is a mass of fallen trees and debris and the generators there are submerged in water, mud and debris.  Fale o le Fee generator was also completely immersed in water, mud and debris.
Two big diesel generators at Tanugamanono Power Station suffered severe water damage and EPC are negotiating to hire additional generators.  Power production has been cut back by 60 percent and according to Tologata, repair work is now expected to delay complete restoration of power for all Upolu households until the end of January 2013.


Water supply for the entire country is critical and a forecast for when reliable supply will be available nationwide is yet to be determined.
The Water and Sanitation Sector met on Tuesday of this week and came up with short, medium and long term response options which, amongst others, include putting in place 28 x 10,000 litre communal water tanks (produced locally) strategically located to serve impacted communities, and 12 water filling stations to be located in 12 sites (6 urban, 6 rural).

The Japanese Government, through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have pledged ST$270,000 worth of relief goods, comprised of tents and portable jerry cans.
Mr Yasuaki Nogawa, Ambassador-designate of Japan to Samoa, who is based in Wellington, said “The Japanese people owe much to Samoans for their kind and generous support extended during the devastating earthquake and tsunami which struck Japan last year. We would like to help the Samoan people when they are in such a difficult time and we all hope for their earliest recovery.”

A New Zealand Defence Force Hercules has landed with additional relief supplies, including tarpaulins, water containers, chainsaws and much-needed diesel generators. 
“There is an urgent need for generators to ensure the Samoa Water Authority can pump and transport water to affected communities,” said Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully, acknowledging the importance of clean water supply.
“In addition, we sent staff from the New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management to work within the Samoa National Disaster Management Office.”

Land Transport Authority reports that all roads around the Vaisigano Basin are now clear and operational.  Work to repair Cross Island Road at Tiavi is anticipated to begin in two weeks time.
Faleolo Airport is operating.
Shipping services operating as normal.

Approximately 93 percent of Digicel’s mobile network is operational with 50 out of 54 towers fully operational.
Bluesky cell sites are 80 percent operational with Mobile, Fixedline and Broadband internet services at 100 percent.

The Samoa Tourism Authority (STA) conducted a rapid assessment and reported the worst affected areas are specific to the Eastern side of Apia due to flooding from the Vaisigano River.

9:00 PM, 20 DECEMBER 2012


The death toll remains at five (5) with two (2) missing people on land (a 17 year old male of Faleasiu and a 3 year old infant carried away by flood waters at Lelata).  Nine (9) people from five (5) missing fishing boats are still unaccounted for.


Government has engaged a local company to build 28x 1000-liter water tanks to be installed at selected flood-devastated sites around Upolu Island. The first four water tanks will be installed tomorrow and should be operating by tomorrow evening.

The Samoa Water Authority are operating water-filling stations around the country where people can take their containers to have them filled.  The water trucking system is now in place.

SWA General Manager Moefaauo Tainau Titimaea says engineers are still at work fixing broken main pipes along the Vaisigano River extensively damaged by heavy flooding.



Two Electric Power Corporation lines teams based in Savaii have been deployed to Upolu to assist over-stretched staff working there.

EPC is negotiating to hire additional diesel generators due to damage from Cyclone Evan cutting power production by about 60 percent.

General Manager Tologata Tile Tuimalealiifano, says a head pond at a hydro plant on Upolu was wrecked by a landslide.

Flooding washed away a pipe from a second head pond that provided cooling at the main diesel generation plant and Tologata says that pond is a mass of fallen trees and debris.

Power, he hopes, should be completely restored to all Upolu households by mid-next week.



  • An Australian Defence Force C-130 Hercules aircraft arrived at 7.00pm this evening at Faleolo Airport bringing with it emergency relief supplies. They include 600 blankets, about 450,000 water cleaners and purification tabs, 432 tarpaulins, 4000x 10-liter collapsible water containers and 4 large water storage bladders.

A second air delivery by the Australian Defence Force is scheduled to arrive tomorrow.

  • The New Zealand Civil Defence Force, using a P3 Orion, brought over 15,000 water cleaners and aquatabs, 500 tarpaulins and a 1000 20-liter collapsible water storage containers on Tuesday.
  • More emergency and relief supplies are expected to be airlifted from Singapore in the weekend, through Japanese assistance.
  • ANZ Bank today announced it will donate ST$100,000 (AUD$45,000) to Caritas Samoa to support people affected by Cyclone Evan and will also provide a banking assistance package to affected customers in Samoa.


Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, on his weekly radio address this evening, thanked all donors for their assistance. He said that the relief and recovery bill will run up to the hundreds of millions of dollars to fix water supplies, restore electricity, clear property of debris, rebuild public infrastructure and, especially, to feed the thousands now displaced. 

The Disaster Management Office (DMO) is recording all small donations at their office, and in our next Press Release, we will publish a list of all of these donations.


The National Disaster Council today carried out an inspection of Savai’i Island. It was noted that apart from damage to forestry and farms, damage to homes and infrastructure was at a minimal.


All Bluesky Savaii Sites, Mobile, Fixedline and Broadband Services are 100% operational. In Upolu about 75% of Bluesky cell sites are operational.  Some of the remaining sites have been powered up today but limited to the capacity of the backup batteries - these sites depend on the commercial feed for long term power.

For Upolu Bluesky Fixedline Services, all of Apia and suburbs of Apia (Letogo to Puipaa, Moamoa, Alafua and Siusega) are all operational, but 30% of these sites are on Backup batteries.  EPC is working to power up all areas but extreme loading to the Power Plants is very critical nationwide at the moment.


The number of displaced persons currently registered with the DMO number 5533.  They are being taken care of at 45 separate evacuation sites.  The greatest need is for clean drinking water.

The DMO update, as of 20/12/12, of Displaced Persons and Shelters is copied below.







1  Solosolo School

Rural Evacuation Sites


2  Faleasela AOG

Rural Evacuation Sites


3  Faleasela LDS

Rural Evacuation Sites


4  Matafa’a Methodist

Rural Evacuation Sites


5  Safata LDS

Rural Evacuation Sites


6  Fusi-Safata AOG

Rural Evacuation Sites


7  Gagaifo LDS

Rural Evacuation Sites


8  NUS

CBD Evacuation Sites


9  Samoa College

CBD Evacuation Sites


10 Apia Primary

CBD Evacuation Sites


11 Tuutuuileloloto Hall

CBD Evacuation Sites


12 Togafuafua Hall

CBD Evacuation Sites


13 Taufusi Hall

CBD Evacuation Sites


14 Nurses Hall

CBD Evacuation Sites


15 LDS Magiagi

CBD Evacuation Sites


16 SDA Lalovaea

CBD Evacuation Sites


17 SDA Magiagi

CBD Evacuation Sites


18 Sinamoga Catholic

CBD Evacuation Sites


19 EFKS Matautu

CBD Evacuation Sites


20 EFKS Leusoalii

CBD Evacuation Sites


21 Matautu Falealili

Pulenuu Distribution


22 Salani

Pulenuu Distribution


23 Malaemalu

Pulenuu Distribution


24 Siuniu

Pulenuu Distribution


25 Sapoe

Pulenuu Distribution


26 Tafatafa

Pulenuu Distribution


27 Vaovai

Pulenuu Distribution


28 Falefa

Pulenuu Distribution


29 Faatoia, Molimau Ieova

Pulenuu Distribution


30 Satalo

Pulenuu Distribution


31 Sapunaoa

Pulenuu Distribution


32 Saleiua

Pulenuu Distribution


33 Matautu Lefaga

Pulenuu Distribution


34 Catholic Church Faleseela

Rural Evacuation Sites


35 Apolima Uta

Pulenuu Distribution


36 Manono Uta

Pulenuu Distribution


37 Gagaifa Lefaga

Pulenuu Distribution


38 Tafagamanu

Pulenuu Distribution


39 Vavau Aleipata

Pulenuu Distribution


40 Falefa

Pulenuu Distribution


41 Salamumu

Pulenuu Distribution


42 Sataoa

Pulenuu Distribution


43 Tafitala

Pulenuu Distribution


44 Matatufu

Pulenuu Distribution


45 Matanofo Falelatai

Pulenuu Distribution









19 December 2012

Status Check on Cyclone Evan Response Efforts from Samoa Govt Press Office:

The death toll has risen to five with the discovery of a body at Vaiala. The male victim has been identified. Missing persons has risen from 10 to 12.


The Australian Government has pledged AUD$400,000 cash and another AUD$400,000 in materials as part of their relief package.

Materials include transitional shelter kits, tents, tools, generators, bedding and linen and sundry. Japan has informed Government that they are in the final stages of putting together their immediate relief shipment.

It includes water tanks, tents and generators. Government has received immediate relief grants of USD$100,000 from UNDP, NZD$50,000 from the New Zealand Government (including search and rescue assistance and aerial surveillance support) and USD$50,000 from the United States Government via the Samoa Red Cross.

As of late this afternoon, New Zealand has pledged an additional NZD$550,000 towards immediate relief efforts.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi thanked the people and Government of American Samoa for immediate relief supplies, ferried over by the Lady Naomi on Sunday 16th December 2012. 

“The consignment, which arrived immediately after Cyclone Evan had just passed over, was very timely. It was exactly the sort of supplies that we urgently needed.”

The shipment comprised of 13 pallets of bottled water, dry foods, clothing and tents. 

Another shipment is expected to arrive from American Samoa aboard the Fotu o Samoa ferry tomorrow.


Electricity has been restored to much of the Apia area. According to EPC, electricity access should be fully restored to the whole country by Friday evening.


Disconnections to the urban water supply system at Afiamalu, Vailima, Vailele, Tapatapao and Fuluasou have been fixed. Samoa Water Authority staff are still working on problems at Malololelei, Alaoa, Vaivase Uta and Fagalii Uta.


The Disaster Management Office(DMO) has opened two distribution outlets at Samoa College for eastern Apia and at Faleata Gym One for the western Apia suburbs.

Displaced persons living with family or billeted elsewhere can call 997 and register family members for assistance. They will then be informed by DMO when they can pick up their supplies. Priority is being given to infants and young children.

Some 38 shelters are now operating across Upolu,sheltering 5047 people. According to DMO, most people are rebuilding their homes in the daytime and returning to the shelters at nightfall.


On-ground assessments have been completed for all of Upolu, bar Laulii to Aleipata. According to DMO, the assessments determine the extent of damage, house and infrastructure destruction, displaced and affected persons, impact on agriculture and farming the services needed. A team will be sent to ManonoIsland on Thursday where initial reports put damages at a minimum. 
Another team will also inspect the island of Savaii later this week where water and electricity services, largely, were not interrupted by Cyclone Evan.


Despite extensive damage to drop wires servicing homes and businesses, Bluesky Samoa have reported that 50% of the landline network in Upolu has been recovered while their mobile network has now been recovered to 60%. 
Internet systems have remained unaffected by the cyclone. 

Savaii has not been affected and Apia Central is fully operational. 
Approximately 40% of their sites are without service, needing diesel fuel to remain operational and increasing the urgent need for more portable generators.


Radio 2AP has been broadcasting throughout the cyclone with Samoa Observer resuming printing operations of the daily newspaper yesterday. TV1 is now back on air.

These updates are being compiled by the Information and Communications Unit - comprised of the Press Secretariat and Savali Newspaper – at the Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.


1. Update (Mon, 17 December) from the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) and Response Agencies

2.1 NEOC

The NEOC continue to coordinate response to the relief needs of the displaced population accommodated at the shelters. 
The number of shelters since the meeting of the National Disaster Council(NDC) on the 15th December 2012, now stands at 4739. These shelters include:

Shelter Total People in each shelter
NUS 630
Samoa Nurse Hall 205
GYM1 151
Samoa College 600
Safaatoa 250
LDS Magiagi 380
EFKS Magiagi 90
Insel Hotel 50
Apia Primary 150
Catholic Church Sinamoga 70
Tafitoala Primary School 240
Pesega 70
Sinamoga 38
SDA Hall Magiagi 201
Solosolo Primary School 50
Leone AOG 31
Faleseela Catholic Church 50
Faleseela LDS 100
Faleseela AOG 30
Matafaa Methodist 22
Mauga Mapua 15
Simaila Fifika 25
Lotofaga Safata LDS 300
Fusi Safata 150
Gagaifo 45
Lalovaea SDA 40
Siumu 200
The families who are not living in the shelters have been directed to the shelters close to where they live. The Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development is also working with the village mayors and Sui Tamaitai ole Malo to manage the shelters and relief distribution from the shelters in close collaboration with the NEOC.

The key priorities for relief are food, drinking water and water for lavatories at the shelters. Requests for shelter assistance are on hold for the moment until further instructions from National Disaster Council. 

The total cost of relief as of Sunday 16/12/2012 is $240,838. The cost of fuel utilized by the response agencies is $40,000.00.

Initial Damage Assessment:

The Initial Damage Assessment started on Saturday 15/12 after the NDC meeting and coordinated by the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development in its capacity as the Chair of the DAC Sub-Committee for Community Welfare & Internal Displaced People. The agencies involved in the initial damage assessment include:

- MWCSD, Samoa Red Cross, MWTI, Caritas Samoa, and MoH



Household average of 8 people
Affected in this context refers to households with Level of Damage Houses 1 – 3 (According to IDA Level)

1 House per Household
House defined as the shelter the household lives in. Not a Faletalimalo used only for special events or Faleo’o for leisure. This does not include separate Kitchen Structures / Umukuka.
Seeking refuge in Evacuation Sites


Households in Evacuation Sites because their Houses are completely destroyed.