Police calls off search for cyclone missing persons

Schwalger needs help with machinery to clear boulders and debris left by the floods infront of his house

Boulders and debris left by heavy flooding at Fa’atoia village

 APIA: 16 JANUARY 2013: The Ministry of Police has called off the search for the 10 people missing since Cyclone Evan four weeks ago. Most them them fishermen and one who was swept by the heavy flooding at Fa’atoia village, one of the worst hit areas by flooding. Police are continuing investigations.

Support continues for affected families
The Sub-committee for Community Welfare and Internal Displaced Persons continues to provide support to the affected families through NEOC distribution of temporary shelter relief assistance. This sub-committee will be stood down once the confirmed families that have been affected are provided with relief.

The Shelter Sub-Committee is still active and working on drafting its report to be presented to the NDC on the final results.

The Early Recovery and Recovery Needs Assessment Sub-Committee under the coordination of the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the Office of the World Bank and ADB in Samoa, UNDP and other donors and technical agencies are still progressing with the post disaster needs assessments.  Details of this assessment are provided in section 7 of this report.

Distribution of relief
The Community Welfare and Internal Displaced Sub-Committee through the NEOC is continuing its distribution of tarpaulins, mosquito nets and bottled water to some of the families who have been reassessed and have been confirmed to have been affected. The latest update as of the 14th January 2013 confirmed 2385 of families in 161 villages have received assistance from the Government distribution as listed in attachment. A summary of relief items distributed to the affected families is also attached. The NEOC is now compiling the list of all relief items supplied to all families in each village.

House damage assessment
The Shelter Sub-Committee is now finalising its final house damage report. Verification assessments of damages to houses and house types are completed. The final report is being prepared and will be presented to the National Disaster Council at its next meeting.

Clean up and removal of debris
Land Transport Authority reported that all 16 contractors deployed cleared the debris and mud from affected areas last Saturday.
Tree cutting assistance for families affected provided by Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) and Fire and Emergency Services (FESA) is still continuing. MNRE has completed cutting all trees that fell on and near Government houses in Fagalii, Motootua, Nafanua, and Moamoa. Both agencies are also clearing logs from the rivers in particular Vaisigano and Sinamoga to prevent them from blocking the flow of the rivers during heavy downpours as witnessed during the floods in the last four days.
MNRE continues to clear all the fallen trees in the Fuluasou and Vailele reserves as well as botanical garden in Vailima. The Ministry of Police and Prisons also provided assistance through the provision of manpower from the prison to assist with this work.
FESA is continuing its assistance to clean houses for the families affected by the Vaisigano floods.

The Health Sector continues with their post cyclone activities focusing on public health and disease surveillance, general environmental health, water, food safety, nutritional monitoring and advice and assisting with primary health care services.  The outpatient clinic
continues to operate at Matagialalua Diabetes Clinic to cater for patients and also for teams conducting post disaster needs assessments

The Electric Power Corporation (EPC) is continuing with its repair works to fix all the T-offs and low-voltage network along inland
roads/auala galue.  Areas where these were completely destroyed include Matautu, Lefaga and Lefaga-tai.
The six 1250kVA generators hired from New Zealand arrived last Friday and were installed during the weekend at the new sub-station at Fuluasou.  EPC hopes to get this sub-power station operational soon.

The TATTE (Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi) Building power supply is now being fed from the EPC main grid after replacement of faulty
switchgear last Sunday.

The heavy downpours the last four days have helped a lot with the generation capacity of the hydro stations at Alaoa, Lalomauga and

Water Supply
Based on the update report provided by Samoa Water Authority (SWA) today, about 100% of overall SWA customers in both rural and urban Upolu are online.  Approximately 17,200 connections are online serving about 124,000 people in both Upolu and Savaii.
For Upolu, about 12,300 connections are online serving about 85,800 people.

The ductile iron pipes to fully restore the Malololelei network are expected to arrive next Monday.

Teams are still working to restore the chlorination systems in rural areas.  On-going notices on radio inform the public to boil water before consumption.

The waste water treatment plant is online and operational.  The individual pumps of the pressure sewerage system have been overhauled to ensure normal operations.

Samoa Water Authority is also working on finalising the cost of damage and losses on the water and sanitation networks and services to
inform the post disaster needs assessment and the recovery plan.

Overall water carting for both drinking and general use purposes have decreased significantly as 90% of the water supply systems are now operational.  All contractors that were engaged to cart the water have been discontinued as a result of the increase of water schemes that have been restored and online. Water carting by SWA, Samoa Red Cross and ADRA/Oxfam continue to serve the rural areas in particular those that are not yet connected to the SWA systems. FESA is also carting water based on requests directed to them through their emergency number.

To date, a total of 35 water tanks have been setup in strategic locations in the urban and rural areas including 22 x 10,000 litres and 13 x 5000 litres.  15 filling stations are still operational including 1 x 10,000L tank that has been delivered to Taelefaga Fagaloa this morning. Purified bottled water is being distributed from the NEOC to affected families.

Samoa Red Cross in partnership with the sector through the Millennium Development Goal Initiative Programme has completed a ventilated improved pit latrines survey in Vaiee and Fusi Safata.  Since the last report, 10 ventilated pit latrines have been completed including 5 in Fusi and 5 in Vaiee with 12 more under construction, to be installed in Maninoa, Tafitoala and Mulivai Safata.
Samoa Red Cross continue to distribute hygiene kits and purification tablets where needed.  The Ministry of Health continues to monitor and test water quality as part of its public health surveillance program and awareness programs through the media.

The Land Transport Authority continues with the assessment of road infrastructure damages as part of the post disaster needs assessment of Post Disaster Needs Assessment and Damage and Loss Assessment.

International and Local Donations
There was no further international assistance provided to the NEOC since the last press release. Assistance provided directly to Response Agencies (Samoa Red Cross, ADRA, Caritas and Non-Government Organizations).

Assistance that has been received directly by NGO response agencies were distributed directly to the families confirmed to have been
affected by Tropical Cyclone Evan. Samoa Red Cross and ADRA continue to distribute non-food items in particular clothing, toolkits, and kitchenettes. Caritas is also distributing food and water to affected families as part of its relief efforts.
ADRA reported that it has served 184 households in Lalovaea, Magiagi, Apia Park, Fusi Safata, Siumu, Tafagamanu, Gagaifolefaga, Siumu East, and Saaga.

The NEOC continues to share updated lists of families affected with Samoa Red Cross, ADRA and Caritas to ensure that assistance is
provided to the confirmed affected families.

Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA)/Damage and Loss Assessments (DaLA)
The sectors and agencies are finalizing their post disaster needs assessments to inform the compilation of the recovery plan.
The Samoa Tourism Authority is finalizing a detailed damage assessment of the impacts of the cyclone on the Tourism Sector.  The findings will guide the tourism sector recovery program.

The MNRE and technical experts from New Zealand and SOPAC (Pacific Islands Applied GeoScience Commission) have completed a risk assessment in the flood affected areas to guide a policy on settlements along the river banks at the Vaisigano River and river/water
channels. The final draft report has been submitted to the Chairman of the NDC for discussion.

Source: Press Secretariat