New Zealand has sent desperately needed supplies to
cyclone-ravaged Samoa and Fiji as thousands remain in
evacuation centres and vital services are cut off.
An RNZAF C-130 Hercules has landed in Apia with essential
humanitarian supplies and diesel generators to support the
relief effort, Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said
"There is an urgent need for generators to ensure the Samoa
Water Authority can pump and transport water to affected
"In addition, we sent staff from the New Zealand Ministry of
Civil Defence and Emergency Management to work within the
Samoa National Disaster Management Office."
Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said the
relief and recovery bill would run up to the hundreds of
millions of dollars, with funds needed to fix water supplies,
restore electricity, clear debris, rebuild public
infrastructure and feed the thousands of people now
Twenty-eight 1000-litre water tanks are being installed
around Upolu Island, and extra generators are being organised
to improve electricity supply, as power production was cut by
about 60 percent as a result of the cyclone.
Further supplies were also sent to Fiji, with 300 large
tarpaulins, 20 generators, 10 chainsaws and 150 shovels
arriving in Nadi on a commercial flight this afternoon.
Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman said he was pleased the
Defence Force was been able to support the authorities in
Samoa and Fiji following Cyclone Evan.
"The P3 Orion was used extensively for search and rescue and
initial damage assessment flights. The focus is now on the
transportation of essential supplies for humanitarian
assistance," Coleman said.
New Zealand has provided $2.6 million to Samoa and $2.4m to
Fiji since Cyclone Evan hit a week ago.
The official death toll after Evan battered Samoa on Thursday
last week stands at five, although two people are missing on
land (a 17-year-old man from Faleasiu and a 3-year-old
carried away by flood waters at Lelata), and nine people
remain missing from five fishing boats.
More than 5500 people are still being housed at 45 shelters
across the country.
With all Fiji airline flight schedules today back to normal,
and most resorts reopened, the country's national carrier Air
Pacific has announced discounted rates for people wanting to
visit in the new year.
Tourism Fiji said there had been no reports of typhoid,
dengue fever or other health hazards following the cyclone,
but people were still being advised to boil water.
Chairman Dave Pflieger said about 11,000 Fijians were
accommodated in evacuation centres while their homes were
"Tourism is the mainstay of Fiji's economy and everyone here
is working hard to make certain that Fiji's resorts, hotels,
and tour operators are back in business," he said.