18 Jan 2013

Samoa police reduce death toll from Evan by one and call off search

6:48 am on 18 January 2013

The police in Samoa have reduced the death toll from cyclone Evan from five to four.

The number of missing and feared dead is still 11, but the search has officially been called off.

The assistant Police Commissioner, Le'aupepe Fatu Pula tells the Samoa Observer that one of the people included in the list of fatalities in fact did not die in relation to the cyclone.

He says a 63 year old woman, Fala Kalati of Tufuiopa had died before the cyclone from natural causes, but her death was erroneously included in government reports in hurricane related deaths.

Le'aupepe says the search for the people remaining missing, mostly fishermen, has been called off, but under the Coroner's Act, they can only be declared dead after 12 months.