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Cyclone Evan Appeal launched

Communities across Fiji and Samoa struggle in the aftermath of one of the worst storms to hit the region in 20 years.

Tuesday December 18, 2012

Homes and infrastructure have taken a battering after Cyclone Evan caused widespread destruction in Fiji (Facebook/Fiji Ministry of Information).

With communities across Fiji and Samoa struggling in the aftermath of one of the worst storms to hit the region in 20 years, Australian Red Cross has launched the Cyclone Evan (Fiji & Samoa) 2012 Appeal.

Australian Red Cross CEO, Robert Tickner, said Cyclone Evan has devastated large parts of Fiji and Samoa, destroying homes and businesses, damaging roads and cutting off power and water supplies.

"This festive season Red Cross is asking Australians to do what they can to help the people of Fiji and Samoa, who face some huge challenges in the coming weeks and months, by donating to the Cyclone Evan Appeal," said Mr Tickner.

"A number of deaths and injuries have been reported and more than 15,000 people have been forced to seek refuge in evacuation centres. In both countries a long-term relief and recovery effort will be required."

Red Cross is helping lead the response on the ground in Fiji and Samoa with hundreds of local volunteers working in evacuation centres and distributing relief items, such as tarpaulins, first aid kits and water containers. Red Cross disaster management experts are also assessing the extent of the damage and developing response and recovery plans.

Australian Red Cross currently has aid workers in Fiji and Samoa contributing to the relief effort and has pre-positioned portable water treatment equipment in the region. More Australian Red Cross aid workers will depart for Samoa in the coming days and supplies of safety equipment are also being sent.

"The funds raised through this Appeal will be used to support the Fiji and Samoan Red Cross Societies in assisting those affected by the cyclone, including helping people displaced by the storm and supporting water and sanitation, shelter and health projects," said Mr Tickner.

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