3 Jan 2013

Evan evacuees in Samoa to return home by Saturday

4:07 pm on 3 January 2013

Samoa's Disaster Management Office says 700 people still in evacuation centres following Cyclone Evan will have to return home on Saturday when the centres close.

The storm, responsible for the deaths of five people and the disappearance of 11 others, caused widespread damage on the main island of Upolu when it hit almost three weeks ago.

A spokesperson for the office, Filomena Nelson, says power and water have been restored to 80 percent of the island and it is time for people to go home.

She says many of the evacuees accept that.

"But there are some people who are a bit hesitant to move back, but government has provided all the assistance that they needed in terms of cleaning up the debris and removing it from their homes and their property."

Filomena Nelson says the people who have lost their homes will receive tarpaulins and tool kits to help them rebuild.