16 Dec 2012

Damage to food crops will cause food shortages - Samoa Prime Minister

11:40 am on 16 December 2012

The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade says it is ready to contribute more disaster relief to Samoa following the destruction by wrought by Cyclone Evan.

At least four people have died and eight others are missing including five crew members of a fishing boat.

Yesterday, New Zealand announced it was giving 50 thousand dollars to replenish relief supplies in Samoa and that it was sending a P3 Orion to survey the damage and to help search for the missing fishermen.

About four thousand people have taken refuge in 23 emergency shelters after flash floods ripped through villages in low lying areas.

Samoa's prime minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, says his country could be faced with food shortages next year because of the destruction of crops.

"With agriculture enormous, quite a lot of breadfruits have been destroyed, as well, banana plantations have been destroyed, so there will be some difficulty with the supply of food over the next 12 months."