17 Dec 2012

People in Samoa asked to avoid damaged homes in wake of Evan

4:01 pm on 17 December 2012

People in Samoa are being discouraged from going back into their damaged homes for fear they are unsafe, with hygiene levels also low.

The clean up following Cyclone Evan continues, with roads in Upolu largely accessible now and the power restored to a small part of the CBD in Apia.

It's estimated about 4,500 people remain in shelters at night, while cleaning up their properties during the day.

The CEO of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Taulealeausumai Laavasa Malua, says they are asking people to be careful about going back to their homes.

"because they are quite unsafe and the hygiene level is quite low in most areas, there's a lot of mud and there's a lot of debris in the houses, they are being encouraged to remain at the shelters that are being created."

A spokesperson for the Disaster Management Office, Filomena Nelson says in the shelters they also have to be mindful of health risks.

In running our shelters here we have to ensure that there's not too many people in one shelter, to prevent those health risks from occurring.

Filomena Nelson says disaster management is supplying fresh water for drinking as there is only 20 to 30 percent of water being supplied to Upolu currently.