Ten now feared dead from Cyclone Evan
Up to 10 people in Samoa are feared to have been left dead in the wake of Cyclone Evan.
Samoan authorities today confirmed that three people are confirmed dead following the mass flooding which hit the islands on Thursday.
Another seven are still missing; including several children.
The New Zealand Government has sent its condolences to the people of Samoa, as well as arranging an aid package for the island nation.
"Our heartfelt condolences go out to the people of Samoa as they begin to come to terms with the loss of life and damage caused,’’ Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said.
"At the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will provide P3 Orion to undertake aerial surveillance and environmental health assessment expertise.
"We have also made available $50,000 to assist with the on-the-ground response.’’
McCully said an initial assessment suggested there had been damage to outlying buildings, critical infrastructure and power lines, with flooding, many fallen trees and power outages.
CYCLONE EVAN HEADS TO FIJI
As Samoa starts picking up the pieces in the wake of Cyclone Evan, Fiji is preparing to face the full force of the storm, due to hit the country tomorrow afternoon.
The cyclone is heading for Fiji's second-largest island, Vanua Levu, Taveuni and nearby smaller islands including the Northern Lau group, fijivillage.com reported.
A strong wind warning and damaging heavy swells warning were in effect for these islands. The cyclone was expected to reach average winds of 165 kilometres per hour but they could go as high as 230 kilometres.
The cyclone was expected to reach Fiji tomorrow afternoon.
Fiji's government authorities had asked the public to begin preparing for Tropical Cyclone Evan and not leave it to the last minute.