Flattened homes, uprooted trees and flooded streets. This scene of destruction is being described in media reports about the South Pacific island nation of Samoa, where a powerful cyclone has just ripped through.
Winds of up to 165 kilometres per hour lashed down and waves of water exploded over river banks washing homes away, flinging cars into trees, cutting out power across the country and leaving the capital city Apia in ruins.
‘The priority really is to repair the damage to infrastructure, electricity lines and the buildings,’ said Samoan prime minister Tuilera Sailele Malielegaoi.
Cyclone Evan is set to bear down on Fiji next, where Fijian Prime Minister Voreque Bainimarama has warned his people to stay at home and restrict their movements:
‘Fellow Fijians, I cannot stress enough how serious this is, as every Fijian will be affected, but we must take preventative steps now,’ said Bainimarama.
The storm is predicted to be Category Four strength by the time it hits Fiji.
ShelterBox is mobilising a Response Team to assess the need in Samoa and stands ready to respond to Fiji, where ShelterBoxes are prepositioned for rapid responses to both nations.