NEW Zealand is ready to send help to cyclone-ravaged Samoa, but Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully says local authorities are coping “extremely well”.
A state of disaster has been declared in Samoa after Cyclone Evan hit the island group, with officials confirming two people had died.
Local media also reported some children were missing after being swept away by the flooded Vaisigano River flowing through the capital Apia.
The cyclone battered Apia on Thursday, cutting power, causing flooding and damaging homes as winds over 120km/h lashed the islands.
Mr McCully says none of the dead are New Zealand citizens.
He says the situation in Samoa remains “extremely serious”, with big winds and extensive flooding causing widespread damage.
New Zealand High Commission staff are visiting evacuation centres in Apia, but Mr McCully says everything is operating “as well as you’d expect under the circumstances”.
He says Samoan authorities haven’t asked for any support from New Zealand at this stage.
“We’ve offered and are prepared to provide whatever is going to be required at short notice, but they seem to be coping extremely well.”
The Red Cross receives funding from the New Zealand government to have relief supplies like blankets, food and emergency health supplies on hand in Samoa in readiness for situations of this sort.
Mr McCully says the Red Cross is capable of dealing with up to 2000 families and there is no pressure on their resources at this point.
The latest weather information indicates the cyclone won’t return over Samoa, as was earlier forecast.
However, Mr Cully says Tonga and Fiji could be next in line for a battering.