by Lance Polu
APIA 19 JANUARY 2013: The State of Emergency declared by the Head of State on the 17th of December 2012 for 30 days, following the severe impacts of Cyclone Evan of the 13th of December, has been lifted when it expired 16 January 2013.
This was announced today through a Press Secretariat statement. Prior to the Proclamation of the State of Emergency, two Declarations of Disaster were made. The first Declaration of Disaster was made on the 13th of December 2012 for 48 hours and was extended for another 48 hours on Saturday 15 December 2012.
The Press Secretariat also provided the final report from the National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC) as published in full below, following the expiry of the Proclamation of the State of Emergency on the 16 of January 2013.
Fatalities and Missing Persons
The confirmed final count of deceased victims stands at 4, with 10 people still missing. The search for the 10 missing people has been called off, however investigations are still continuing.
The Disaster Advisory Committee Sub-Committees that were activated during the emergency period include: First Response and Initial Damage Assessment, Community Welfare and Internal Displaced Persons, Shelter, and Early Recovery and Recovery Needs Assessments. The First Response and Initial
Damage Assessment, and the Community Welfare and Internal Displaced Persons Sub-Committees have been deactivated as the need for their services has come to an end.
The Shelter Sub-Committee is still active and working on finalising the shelter damage assessment report.
The Early Recovery and Recovery Needs Assessment sub-committee, under the coordination of the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the Offices of the World Bank and ADB in Samoa, UNDP, other donors and technical agencies are still progressing with the post disaster needs assessments.
Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA)/Damage and Loss Assessments (DaLA): The sectors and agencies are finalizing their post disaster needs assessments to guide the compilation of the recovery plan. Once the post disaster needs assessment report is finalized, it will be submitted to Cabinet for consideration and endorsement.
Distribution of relief
The Community Welfare and Internal Displaced Sub-Committee through the NEOC started the distribution of food and non-food relief items from the 14th of December 2012 up to the 17th of January 2013. As of the 17th of January 2013, 2614 families in 164 villages have been given relief supplies including food and non-food items. The updated summary of the families per village who have received relief supplies is attached as well as the summary of distributed relief items.
An audit of relief items for Tropical Cyclone Evan has been conducted by the Audit Office and NEOC staff. The remaining stock has been stored by the NEOC in its relief storage to assist families affected by the cyclone. The remaining purification tablets will be transferred to Samoa Red Cross to purify water in communal water tanks and where needed.
House damage assessment
The Shelter Sub-Committee has completed the final report on damages to houses and is awaiting instructions from the National Disaster Council (NDC) for wider distribution.
Clean up and removal of debris
The critical cases reported during the NDC meeting held on the 15th January 2013 are being dealt with directly through the NEOC. The contractor responsible has been engaged by the NEOC to clear logs and debris and dredge the excess sediment to allow water to flow through its normal path.
Tree cutting assistance for affected families continues to be provided by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) and Fire and Emergency Services (FESA). MNRE has also started clearing logs from the Alaoa catchment and Sinamoga River behind the University of the South Pacific compound. FESA continues to assist the public by way of treecutting and cleaning of houses based on requests from families.
The Electric Power Corporation is continuing with its repair works to fix all the T-offs and low voltage lines along inland roads/auala galue.
The Samoa Water Authority reported that about 100 percent of overall SWA customers in rural and urban Upolu are online. Approximately 17,200 connections online serve 124,000 people including customers in Savaii. For urban and rural Upolu, an estimate of 12,300 connections is online serving about 85,800 people.
The Malololelei network is still operating from a temporary intake while on-going repairs are underway, pending the arrival of ductile iron pipes next week.
The teams are still continuing repair works to restore chlorination systems in the rural areas of Upolu. Public messages continue to be aired to inform the public to boil water before consumption.
All borehole supplies are online using the 7 generators from New Zealand. These boreholes include those in Lefaga, Leulumoega, Faleapuna, Satitoa, Lalomanu, Satui and Samatau.
All independent water schemes are online serving 17 percent of the country’s population. Out of the 32 independent water schemes, two schemes including the one in Letogo and one in Aleisa Sisifo were damaged due to the cyclone. Temporary repairs have been made at these two schemes for provisional supply to serve the majority of customers in these villages, pending complete rehabilitation.
Overall water carting services both for drinking and general use (incl. Sanitation) purposes have decreased significantly (particularly in the urban area) as 100 percent of the water supply systems (in Upolu) are now operational or online. Requests for water carting services in the urban area have also reduced greatly. Water carting services are now mostly concentrated in the rural areas, especially areas that are not connected to the SWA systems.
Samoa Water Authority, Samoa Red Cross and ADRA/OXFAM continue to work together to cart drinking water in water-stressed rural areas.
Carting of river water for sanitation purposes has been discontinued as water supply systems are now 100% operational.
There are now 16 water filling stations. These temporary stations were set up in strategic locations to allow for members of the general public (especially in water-stressed areas) to access water for drinking and general use or sanitation purposes. A total of 37 tanks have been disseminated and set up, of which there are 24 x 10,000L Tanks and 13 x 5,000L Tanks.
In addition, the Samoa Red Cross has disseminated 15 x 5,000L tanks in Safata alone while 8 x 5,000L tanks for storage and treatment of water for distribution have been set up in Vaiee. Other tanks have also been distributed to water stressed rural areas on a case by case basis, particularly households outside of the reticulated water supply networks of either SWA or the Independent Water Scheme.
Samoa Red Cross in partnership with the sector through the Millennium Development Goals Initiative Programme constructed a total of 11 latrines to date including 5 VIP latrines in Fusi, 5 VIP Latrines in
Vaiee and 1 VIP Latrine in Seesee.
Kits are being disseminated through Samoa Red Cross and the Ministry of Health while purification tablets are disseminated through Samoa Red Cross for safe administration.
There is an urgent need to rehabilitate the Radio 2AP building. We are still in the cyclone season and this is the main channel used to disseminate immediate disaster warnings and information. The report on the 15th January 2013 from Digicel and Bluesky remains the same as of now.
The Land Transport Authority is now focusing on the restoration and rehabilitation of all roads damaged due to the cyclone and flooding, including clearing of debris from the drainage system.
International and Local Donations
There were no further donations received by the NEOC. The final list of all donations from international organisations and overseas Governments is attached as well as information on donations from local organisations, denominations and families.
Samoa Red Cross, ADRA, Caritas, and other non-governmental organisations continue to provide assistance to affected families based on the confirmed list provided by the NEOC.
To date, Samoa Red Cross has provided assistance to 1861 families in 89 villages. This assistance includes clothing, tool kits, hygiene kits, newborn kits, water containers, and other household items.
ADRA has distributed 177 hygiene kits, 148 garden kits, 32 linen kits and 3 newborn kits to families who were staying at the SDA Lalovaea Shelter, SDA Magiagi Shelter, and families in Apia Park, Fusi Safata, Siumu, Tafagamanu, Gagaifolefaga, Siumu Sasae and Saaga.
Caritas reported that they have distributed food and non-food items to affected families based on the lists provided by the NEOC.
National Emergency Operation Centre Operations
The NEOC has been stood down, as of the 17th of January 2013, following the expiry of the Proclamation of the State of Emergency. All Government ministry personnel have returned to their usual place of work to resume their normal duties. The NEOC is now being manned by the staff of the Disaster Management Office (DMO) to cater for any critical cases and also to provide support to the post disaster needs assessment work.
The meeting of the NDC held on the 21st of December 2012 endorsed that all staff who worked during the holiday period were to defer taking annual leave until after the operation for Tropical Cyclone Evan was completed. Overtime for entitled staff who worked throughout the emergency period will be paid once all the payments to suppliers are completed.
For all response agencies and sectors that submitted progress reports to the NEOC, since the 13th of December 2012 via email, telephone, and through direct delivery of hard copies for compilation of updated reports to the National Disaster Council, these reports were summarised and included in the updated reports provided to the members of the National Disaster Council and the Disaster Advisory Committee. The same reports were also provided to the Early Recovery and Recovery Needs Assessment Sub-Committee to inform their post disaster needs assessment. All copies of these reports are kept by the NEOC as records of the response and relief efforts for Tropical Cyclone Evan.
Debriefing by all response agencies is a requirement under the National Disaster Management Plan. The DMO will circulate the debriefing template for the agencies to use in due course, in order to clearly record the lessons learned from Tropical Cyclone Evan’s response and relief efforts.