17 Dec 2012

Samoa disaster officials re-assess damage from cyclone Evan

8:47 am on 17 December 2012

Disaster officials in Samoa are assessing the damage from cyclone Evan, to re-confirm how many households have been affected.

Evacuation centres are caring for four thousand people in the capital, Apia, where a flash flood, described as an inland tsunami, carried away hundreds of homes and left others covered in mud.

The police say four people are confirmed dead but that number could increase.

A spokesperson for Samoa Disaster Management Office, Filomena Nelson, says they are supplying food and fresh water for people in shelters.

"We are also doing initial damage assessment to re-confirm the number of households affected and also to re-confirm the immediate needs of the people, so we can cater our relief accordingly."

And a search for eight missing fishermen off the Samoan coast will resume this morning.

Cyclone Evan has left extensive damage to the country's power system, agriculture, housing and crops.

A search and rescue mission co-ordinater, Ramon Davis, says an Airforce Orion took off this morning to conduct a visual search of the sea for the missing fishermen.

Mr Davis says the Orion will also fly over the Samoan islands to inspect the damage the cyclone has done to infrastructure.