9 Jan 2004

Relief efforts under control in Samoa and Tonga

11:54 am on 9 January 2004

The Red Cross says its emergency relief efforts in Samoa and Tonga after Cyclone Heta are under control, though destruction of crops is likely to affect people's livelihoods.

Leon Prop from the International Federation of the Red Cross in Fiji says non-food relief will continue to arrive in Samoa over the next two weeks.

Blankets, tarpaulins and water containers will be distributed to those worst affected.

Mr Prop says no further emergency distributions are needed in Tonga, which suffered less damage.

However, he says islanders whose crops were damaged may need longer term help.

"We've heard reports of substantial damage to staple crops including bananas and breadfruit, and there may be a need for some follow-on support in the next weeks and months to come."