13 Feb 2018

Eight hundred still in shelters in American Samoa

3:40 pm on 13 February 2018

Hundreds of people are still in shelters in American Samoa, three days after Cyclone Gita caused flooding and damage to buildings in the territory.

Damage from Cyclone Gita in American Samoa.

Damage from Cyclone Gita in American Samoa. Photo: Twiiter/ Aumua Amata

Yesterday US President Donald Trump approved an emergency declaration for the territory.

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    • Our correspondent, Monica Miller, said most of the shops in the capital of Pago Pago were closed or heavily damaged.

      She said nearly 800 people, including elderly and children, remained in emergency accommodation.

      "Those are the families that are going to take a while to get back on their feet. Schools are off for the whole week, government schools and a lot of the private schools as well. The government will have to to find an alternative place to move some of these families too.

      "Some of them may well move in with churches at this stage but it is going to take a while for these people to get back on their feet."

      Big clean up needed in Samoa

      Meanhwile, people in Samoan are being advised to do a very thorough clean up of their homes and businesses following Cyclone Gita.

      Red Cross workers go door to door in Samoa to check on residents in the wake of Cyclone Gita

      Red Cross workers go door to door in Samoa to check on residents in the wake of Cyclone Gita Photo: Twitter / Red Cross

      Increased dengue fever cases have been an ongoing concern since late last year, and the cyclone has left many pools of stagnant water where mosquitoes can breed.

      Our correspondent Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia said locals were also being asked to boil water, while a significant number are still without electricity

      He said he had been busy cleaning out his own home which was flooded with muddy water.

      "I am still working on my clean up. You know my house was flooded and we have to clear out everything from the house and get good hoses of water and have a good clean up and dry things out in the sun. You know we are nowhere near Tonga, we are very minor."

      Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia said the hearts of many Samoans are with the people of Tonga.

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