Cyclone Evan—ADRA responds in Samoa and Fiji

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Wahroonga, New South Wales

Following Cyclone Evan’s destructive path across the South Pacific, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is assisting some of those most seriously affected in both Samoa and Fiji.

The death toll in Samoa currently stands at four, but the destruction brought to housing and other infrastructure is more extensive than the 2009 tsunami.

Cyclone Evan, a category 4 storm which brought havoc across the region late last-, and early this week battered the island nations of Samoa and Fiji with destructive high winds, rain and storm surges of up to six feet. Thousands of homes have been destroyed, with roads, power lines and other essential infrastructure including farms and gardens seriously affected.

Across the two countries more than 10,000 people remain in evacuation centres.

“ADRA Australia takes very seriously the responsibility of caring for our pacific neighbours,” said Jonathan Duffy, ADRA Australia CEO. “Even before the storm made landfall in the region we had committed to providing appropriate support.” 

Cyclone Evan made landfall in Samoa on Thursday, 13 December. Almost the entire population of the island of Upolu has been affected. ADRA Samoa, as part of the Samoa District Advisory Committee’s emergency response plan, has been given care of three major evacuation centres.

“Day and night the team are ensuring those that have lost homes, clothing and gardens have a roof over their head, food, water, clothing and the support they need at this extremely stressful time,” said Mr Duffy. “The death toll in Samoa currently stands at four, but the destruction brought to housing and other infrastructure is more extensive than the 2009 tsunami. Recovering from this disaster is going to take time.” 

Communities in Fiji’s Western Division, which were struck by Cyclone Evan on Monday night, are still assessing the damage, while the government has officially declared a state of disaster for the region. Utilising supplies pre-positioned for disasters such as this, ADRA Fiji is distributing emergency food, water and sanitation packs to more than 500 families in its first phase response.

“These pre-positioned supplies allowed ADRA Fiji to respond quickly and meet peoples immediate needs,” said Mr Duffy. “Experts from other ADRA offices have been rushed to the area to assist in what is likely to be a large and long-term response.”

You can help support ADRA’s work in the region, and other disaster affected areas around the world through donations to ADRA Australia’s Disaster Preparedness and Response Fund. To give your support donate online at <www.adra.org.au> or call 1800 24 ADRA.

ADRA Australia is a Christian aid and humanitarian organisation that empowers communities and changes lives. ADRA Australia works with people in poverty and distress to create just and positive change through empowering partnerships and responsible action.