Cyclone damage worse than 2009 tsunami
Sun, 16 Dec 2012 6:00p.m.
By Michael Morrah
Disaster officials in Samoa say the damage from Cyclone Evan is worse than that caused by the tsunami in 2009.
Most of the country is without power and more than 4500 people are homeless.
Flood waters still surround villages and homes along the southern coast. The situation there is desperate, the damage extensive.
Matautu Tai Lefuga resident Shirley Sera spent the day sifting through what remained of her home.
“This is where I live and thank God I was able to stay alive with my daughter and my family,” says Ms Sera.
Disaster officials say on the south coast alone more than 1000 homes have been destroyed.
“It [the 2009 tsunami] was focussed on the southern coast of Upolu, but for this one the whole country is affected,” says Filomena Nelson, response coordinator for the tsunami.
Apia and the surrounding areas didn't fare any better, and it’s not surprising with the amount of water that rolled through there four days ago. The people were prepared for the wind but not for the devastation. It’s left thousands in evacuation centres.
The building of the Ministry of Health has been transformed into a shelter for those in need.
“It’s very sad,” says Health Ministry assistant chief executive Sosefina Talauta-Tualaulelei. “I think the emotional part hasn’t really hit us yet, but we are just glad we are able to help.”
Staff say they are dealing with an increase in cases of people with respiratory illnesses.
“It’s a very serious health situation, in fact worse than the tsunami,” says Health Ministry director general Talanutina Tupunatagi Toelupe. “With this situation these are people who are displaced and their homes are no longer there.”
Samoa has endured many disasters, but as always the people remain resilient. But they know this won’t be a quick fix. A search for the missing is ongoing, with the death toll likely to rise to 12.
Early this afternoon an Air Force Orion arrived in Samoa from New Zealand. Five of those who are still missing and presumed dead were out in Apia Harbour on two fishing boats when the cyclone hit. The first job for the Air Force crew will be to search for the bodies of those victims.
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26/12/2012 8:29:28 a.m.
The captain on the OP made a important decision not to go in that direction, to re-direct to other South Pacific on my cruise. Today I am safe at home.
23/12/2012 1:14:22 p.m.
Teancum Solomona wrote:
I love the song god bliss us for Samoa
19/12/2012 8:20:37 a.m.
thank god for your protection to your kids
17/12/2012 9:49:54 a.m.
Westmere EFKS Auckland wrote:
Our prayers since natural disaster devastated our dear Nation are always with you.To all our loved ones, friends and all Samoans, remember, God Almighty is always in the midst of every destruction.As His Holy Spirit will give us courage and hope.
17/12/2012 8:45:43 a.m.
Rodney Jones and Alaese Jones wish all their families luck and hope and all the people a speedy recovery and may God bless. wrote:
we wish all the people of samoa in this tragedy a speedy recovery and may god watch over and also love to our families,love to my mum in lotopue aleipata and also lelepa in savaii.
17/12/2012 5:52:04 a.m.
Inu Family - Fa'amatuainu wrote:
Our thoughts & prayers are with you Samoa & our family in Lufilufi...Matautu, all of Apia...may you all be guided & blessed esp.at ths time...we love you & pray for you always
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