The Cyclone Evan (Samoa and Fiji ) 2012 Appeal has closed after raising more than $265,000.
Red Cross is supporting communities across Samoa and Fiji who were devastated by a major tropical cyclone in December, which caused widespread destruction.
The Pacific island country of Samoa declared a State of Emergency and Fiji declared a State of Natural Disaster in the Northern and Western Divisions for a month after Tropical Cyclone Evan hit.
Four people died and 10 people are still missing as a result off the cyclone. More than 16,000 people were displaced by the cyclone, which affected many others across the two countries.
The cyclone damaged or destroyed around 10,000 homes and over 150 schools. It left thousands of people without electricity, safe drinking water and toilet facilities in both countries.
Apia, the capital of Samoa, experienced severe damage to a number of communities as a result of flash floods, particularly in the low lying central business district. There has been widespread damage to buildings and critical infrastructure.
Electricity and mains water supply has been restored to many parts of Samoa. Many communities have no or limited access to safe water and toilet facilities. Food crops have also been devastated.
Extreme flooding was recorded across Fiji and serious damages were sustained to key economic and tourist infrastructure. Damage to agriculture was significant due to the high winds, particularly in the northwest coastal areas of Viti Levu and in the Yasawa and Mamanucas.
Red Cross response
Red Cross Societies in Samoa and Fiji have been working around the clock, assisting communities devastated by the cyclone.
Samoa Red Cross has been assisting communities with access to safe water, toilet facilities and hygiene kits. A water purification unit has been used to provide safe drinking water in Apia, and other communities including Matafaa.
Samoa Red Cross supported 14,000 people in more than 240 evacuation centres from the beginning, providing basic needs, such as blankets, tarpaulins, lanterns, water containers, mosquito nets, hygiene kits and first aid services.
Australian Red Cross sent two aid workers to Samoa to provide additional support including water and sanitation assistance. One staff member based in Samoa before the cyclone hit assisted with emergency response activities.
In Fiji, a total of 140 volunteers have been working with government relief teams and other partners to reach disaster-affected communities. Thousands of people have been supported with vital items such as blankets, clothing, soap, and mosquito coils, along with cooking containers.
Shelter has also been a top priority. Tarpaulins and other temporary shelter materials are being distributed in coordination with government and other agencies.
Fiji Red Cross continues to carry out detailed assessments in the western parts of Viti Levu and its nearby surrounding islands.
The distribution of water purification tablets and application of H2S water testing kits are priorities in certain areas.
Fiji Red Cross plans to assist more than 25,000 people with relief items like shelter materials, access to safe water, hygiene and toilet facilities in the coming weeks.
You can help
Australian Red Cross has closed the Cyclone Evan (Samoa and Fiji) 2012 Appeal.
Organisers of fundraising events or those who have collected or pledged donations have until 1 March, 2013 to send collected monies to Red Cross. Those people who contact Red Cross to make prior arrangements can send in donations after 1 March, if there are pre-planned activities, by calling 1800 811 700.
The funds raised will be used to provide humanitarian support to people and communities affected by Cyclone Evan. The funds will be used to:
1. Provide emergency relief and recovery assistance to affected communities, displaced people and host families in Samoa and Fiji.
2. Support water and sanitation, shelter and health initiatives in affected areas.
3. Send specialist aid workers to assist in initial assessments, relief, recovery and longer term disaster management operations.
4. Support Red Cross programs and the work of our Red Cross partners in Samoa and Fiji.
Australian Red Cross will not deduct more than 10% of any donation for an international appeal to cover appeal and administration costs. Should the funds raised exceed the amount required to meet the immediate and longer term needs of the people in the affected areas, Australian Red Cross will direct the excess funds to other emergency preparedness and response initiatives in the Pacific region.
Any interest earned on donations will be invested back into the appeal.
Red Cross supports communities, particularly those most in need, to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies.
Making a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery supports the work that Red Cross Emergency Services do every day in Australia and wherever we are needed around the world.
Information about donating goods.
Photos: In the capital of Samoa, Apia, there has been widespread flooding, disruption to power and water supplies and serious damage to buildings, including the destruction of many homes. (Credit: Tim Gill/AusAID). Families seek shelter at Kabir Temple Evacuation Centre after Cyclone Evan destroyed their homes. (Credit: Facebook/Fiji Ministry of Information ). Infrastructure has taken a battering after Cyclone Evan caused widespread flooding at Suva Point in Fiji (Credit: Facebook/Fiji Ministry of Information ).