MP sends condolences
Maungakiekie MP Sam Lotu-Iiga has joined others in expressing his sadness and condolences to the families of those people who were killed in the Cyclone Evan that hit the shores of Samoa and continues to make its presence felt in other parts of the Pacific.
Cyclone Evan ravaged Samoa late last week, leaving four dead, 10 missing, and up to 3000 homeless, and flattening buildings in the capital Apia.
The storm is estimated to have wrought WST$300 million (NZ$157 million) in damage.
''It is a sad time that we learn of the deaths of up to four people, two of them children, during this cyclone,'' Mr Lotu-Iiga says.
''My prayers and sympathies go out to the families and villages affected by this devastating event.''
The Red Cross has a central warehouse in Samoa and six depots stocked with tarpaulins, first aid kits, water containers and kitchen sets which volunteers will distribute as soon as they are able to get out.
''New Zealand has funded relief supplies to be made available through the Red Cross in readiness for a situation such as this, with resources to help up to 2000 families.
''There are no pressures on these supplies at this time.''
Mr Lotu-Iiga says personnel and equipment are also on standby in Auckland in case assistance is requested at short notice from the Samoan Government.
New Zealand High Commission staff that have been on the ground visiting evacuation centres in Apia report that everyone is coping well and handling the situation as well as can be expected.
''My thoughts and prayers are with Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi and my fellow Samoans at this time as they look to take stock, repair, rebuild and move forward after this devastating cyclone.''
Fiji took a vicious pounding from the category four cyclone overnight, with the country's second largest city, Lautoka, described as a war zone.
Thousands of people are huddled in evacuation centres across the country as 200kmh winds sent houses and trees flying through the air.
Weather across Fiji is still bad this morning, but the Fiji Electricity Authority hope to have power restored to some parts by midday.
There are no reports of casualties.