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Habitat for Humanity launches shelter appeal for Samoa and Fiji to assist those affected by Cyclone Evan

Thousands of people in evacuation centers


cyclone-evan-web-story-pic.jpgA local resident clears debris at a primary school in Malomalo, Fiji, after Cyclone Evan. photo credit: REUTERS/Tertius Pickard.

Bangkok, 18 December 2012 – Habitat for Humanity New Zealand has launched an appeal to assist families in Samoa and Fiji affected by Cyclone Evan. Initial United Nations reports state that around 1,500 homes have been destroyed or damaged on Samoa, with figures as yet unavailable for Fiji.

Cyclone Evan struck Samoa on Thursday 13 December, killing four people, before circling back and striking Fiji yesterday. Over 7,700 people are currently in evacuation centers in Samoa, and a state of emergency has been declared on the Pacific island. The extent of the damage is still unclear in Fiji, where around 8,500 people are in evacuation centers.

“Habitat for Humanity Fiji is assessing the situation in-country as Cyclone Evans moves away, and Habitat for Humanity New Zealand is deploying a team to Samoa to work with local emergency management units and other partners to design a coordinated disaster response program. We are committed to helping affected families rebuild their lives”, said Rick Hathaway, Asia-Pacific vice-president for Habitat for Humanity.

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Habitat for Humanity New Zealand’s appeal for both Fiji and Samoa will help fund a repair and rebuild program. A similar initiative was launched after the 2009 earthquake and tsunami that devastated Samoa, when Habitat for Humanity New Zealand built 91 homes for affected families. Similarly, Habitat for Humanity Fiji built 46 homes for families affected by Cyclone Thomas in March 2010.