25 APRIL 2016
Samoa was hit by Tropical Cyclone Amos on Saturday 23rd April 2016.
The Government’s response and recovery efforts is outlined in this media release and is based on information collected from multiple government agencies – namely the Disaster Advisory Committee’s reports to the National Disaster Council.
As of 7:00am Sunday 24 April 2016, the threat from TC Amos was downgraded as the cyclone continued to move East-Southeast away from Samoa. Samoa Meteorological Services cancelled the TC Category 2 warning, but it should be noted that the warning for TC Category 1 remained effective for the eastern parts of Upolu until its cancellation at 1:00pm on Sunday.
The National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC) was activated and became operational from 6:00pm, Friday 22nd and was deactivated on Sunday 24th April. However, the centre continues to coordinate responses to impacts from TC Amos. The National Disaster Council and Disaster Advisory Committee met on Sunday 24th April to assess the damage and impact of the cyclone.
A short summary of government’s cyclone response is outlined below.
Police and Samoa Red Cross Society were called to evacuate four families in Savaii to higher ground due to river flooding and one family in Upolu. There have been no reported casualties.
Initial assessments from the Electric Power Corporation showed that around 70 percent of the country experienced power outages as a result of the cyclone. Full power has since been restored to the whole country.
Land Transport Authority (LTA) continues to monitor the conditions of roads, fords and bridges to ensure these access points are safe for the public. Road access in Upolu has been fully restored with LTA contractors deployed to undertake maintenance works. Restoration works in Savaii are underway with LTA reporting that roads damaged in Saleia, Saipipi, Lano and Tapueleele are now accessible.
Samoa Shipping Corporation confirmed that ferry services resumed on Sunday 24th April and are operating as usual.
Assessments of critical infrastructure – such as airports, roads, fords, bridges, power, communications – are ongoing, while assessments for damage to houses has been completed with minimal damages reported.
As advised by Samoa Water Authority, all water treatment plants and borehole systems are back online and operating normally, with the following exceptions:
Rural Upolu Service Areas – interruption in water supply from Saleimoa to Fasitoo. SWA expects to resolve this supply issue within the next 24-36 hours, once EPC has restored grid power to the Fasitoo borehole system.
Savaii Service Areas – the following areas are experiencing water outages, while EPC works to restore power to affected borehole systems. SWA expects to resolve these water supply problems within the next 24-48 hours.
- Sataua borehole system: Papa Sataua to Fagasa
- Mataivai borehole system: Samauga to Safune
- Letui borehole system: Letui to Aopo
- Saleaula borehole system: Saleaula to Safai
- Safotu borehole system: All of Safotu
The public has been advised, via Ministry of Health public health broadcasts, to be mindful of water consumption, sanitation and hygiene.
Public health awareness messages are being broadcast on TV and radio to ensure the public are informed of health and safety concerns relating to natural disasters.
An initial overview provided by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment confirms minimal damage and loss to crops such as banana and breadfruit.
Initial reports by the Ministry of Education show that all schools have been largely unaffected by the cyclone; school resumed as usual today (Monday 25th April).
Local telecommunications companies, Bluesky and Digicel, reported that their services were maintained throughout TC Amos.
Providing information and regular updates to the public through social media platforms and media broadcast partners, the Disaster Management Office and Samoa Meteorological Services delivered weather bulletins on TC Amos and updates on key services, as well as crucial updates on transport routes and power and water supply. These updates were widely circulated through social media, as well as utilized by local media organisations to inform the public.
The updates from the Disaster Management Office and the Meteorology Division of MNRE are the official notices from government in relation to weather bulletins and public advisories. The Ministry of Communication’s Radio 2AP provided 24/7 broadcast for the public throughout the cyclone.
All international flights have resumed. The Samoa Tourism Authority established a Call Centre on Friday 22nd April, to share updates on TC Amos and cater to tourists and the tourism sector.