Australia responds to Cyclone Evan in Fiji and Samoa
Cyclone Evan has caused widespread damage in Fiji and Samoa, destroying lives, homes and livelihoods. Australia has committed an initial $1 million each to both countries in emergency assistance and relief supplies to help devastated communities. We will continue to consult with both countries on how we can assist further.
The damage caused by the disaster
Cyclone Evan has left communities in Samoa and Fiji devastated. The cyclone made landfall in Samoa on 13 December before hitting Fiji four days later. It brought with it heavy rain and winds of up to 270 kilometres per hour, causing storm surges up to four metres high.
In the wake of the disaster, lives have been lost, homes and schools have been completely destroyed, and thousands of people remain stranded in evacuation centres.
Extensive damage is feared in Fiji, where the cyclone passed over one of the most populated areas of the country. However communication systems have been severely affected and the full extent of the damage is not yet known.
In Samoa, the damage is thought to be worse than that caused by the 2009 tsunami, which devastated the island of Upolu. At least five people in Samoa have been confirmed dead from Cyclone Evan.
What Australia is doing to support relief efforts
Australia has committed $1 million each to Fiji and Samoa in emergency assistance and relief supplies. This will provide vital support to communities dealing with the aftermath of Cyclone Evan.
The funding will be used to carry out damage assessments to determine what kind of assistance is needed where. AusAID has deployed four disaster relief experts, two to Fiji and two to Samoa, to provide support in this area. The Australian Civilian Corps is also on standby for early deployment.
Much-needed relief items will also be distributed to effected communities. This will consist of tarpaulins, blankets, hygiene kits and water purification tablets to meet people’s initial shelter and health needs. The first consignment of supplies was sent to Fiji on 19 December on an ADF C17 plane.
Working with our partners
Australia is working closely with New Zealand, France and other donors to provide a coordinated response to the destruction caused by Cyclone Evan. This will ensure that the immediate needs of communities are met as best and as quickly as possible.
Last reviewed: 19 December, 2012