18 Dec 2012

Death toll in Samoa 5 with 12 missing

7:11 pm on 18 December 2012

Disaster relief officials in Samoa are struggling to assess the damage caused by Cyclone Evan with 5047 people still in evacuation centres.

Officials have put the death toll at five, with up to 12 people missing.

27 evacuation centres are providing temporary accommodation for more than 4,000 people who have been displaced by the cyclone and associated flooding.

The New Zealand Government has pledged $600,000 to the recovery effort and the Australian Government nearly $1 million dollars in cash and materials.

The Disaster Management Office estimates the cost of the disaster at $157 million or 300 million Samoan tala.

Electricity has been restored to most of Apia - the capital city - and the rest of the country should have power back on by Friday evening.

Spokesperson for the Disaster Management Office Filomena Nelson says the damage was so wide-spread across the main island of Upolu that officials have not been able to visit every village yet.

She says the search is continuing for eight missing people, including five fishermen.

A state of emergency remains in place in Samoa.