18 Dec 2012

Samoa Disaster officials working village by village across Upolu

1:42 pm on 18 December 2012

Disaster relief officials in Samoa are struggling to assess the damage of Cyclone Evan which struck the country last week, killing five people.

27 evacuation centres are providing temporary accommodation for more than 4,000 people who were displaced by the cyclone and associated flooding.

A spokesperson for the Disaster Management Office, Filomena Nelson, says 50 to 70 percent of the island is still without electricity but the Power Corporation is aiming to get all power back by the end of Friday.

Ms Nelson says the damage was so wide-spread across the main island of Upolu that officials haven't been able to visit every village yet but says they are hoping to get people back home where possible.

"The government has started a clean up within the affected areas in terms of assisting to clear the debris from where their houses are so that they can go back and start rebuilding again."

Filomena Nelson says the search is continuing for eight missing people, including five fishermen.