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Samoa Cylone Evan Causes Destruction and Sickness

Lachlan-Pera-Beach-Algarve-PortugalClimate Change Is Affecting Small Islands of the Pacific very profoundly.

Thankyou to Lachlan for this fantastic photo.

17 December 2012 Cyclone Evan has arrived in Samoa, and the worst of it is yet to come around mid-day today.

Thousands of people have been rendered homeless. 4,500 people are crammed in evacuation centres, which is a threat to the health of these people.

The storm is estimated to be within 200 kilometres of the two main islands of Samoa right now, 7.30AM NZ time. Heavy rain is expected in Nadi at 3PM, as the storm moves south towards Fiji. The tail-end of the storm will arrive in New Zealand around Christmas Eve, and it is surmised that this might affect the Northland area of the North Island.

Hurricane force winds of up to 185 kilometres an hour are causing havoc in some areas, and flooding is expected to be a problem.

Water-borne illnesses are a worry. It is reported that many people in Samoa are suffering lung conditions such as pneumonia as a result of the storm, and that viral infections are a real threat to the population.

There is some concern that the power supply might be cut. Fresh drinking water will not get through if this happens, and this will further magnify the health risks.

Samoa is only just getting on its feet after the tsunami last year which caused massive destruction of the environment and the communities living along the coastline. It is thought that the damage after this cyclone Evan is worse than the tsunami of 2011, as the damage is over the whole country this time.

TV3 News at 6.30AM reported from Apia in Samoa that eight people dead and many more missing. This figure has been given as four in later accounts of the cyclone. Some of the deceased are thought to be fishermen who were caught out on the sea when the cyclone began. A report at 7.45AM says that eight fishermen are missing, and that a search-and-rescue operation is under way.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown has just been interviewed on TV3. He is offering aid to Samoa to help the homeless people and to help in the clean-up. Len Brown reminded us that Auckland has the biggest Pacifica population of any city in the Southern hemisphere, and so, since we have a strong connection with Samoa and the other Pacific nations, we have a duty to help out our neighbours.

It has been previously pointed out by environmentalists that the wealthy countries of the world, who are contributing to climate change in a big way because of their industrial wastes and deforestation programmes, are the ones who should be paying for the destruction caused by the increasing incidence of calamities such as tsunamis and cyclones in the vulnerable small islands of the Pacific.

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