Episcopal Relief and Development is providing support to victims of Cyclone Heta, which hit Samoan islands in the Pacific in early January. Winds, flash flooding, and strong waves damaged homes and destroyed crops. The cyclone caused power outages and disrupted phone service. An estimated 600 people remain in shelters and hundreds of other people have been displaced from their homes.
"The electricity and water supply have been restored but damage to basic food crops will take longer to replace," said Sereima Lomaloma, Secretary and Registrar for the Diocese of Polynesia. "Roofs were blown off some homes."
On behalf of the Episcopal Church, Episcopal Relief and Development has advanced emergency funds to the Diocese of Polynesia to give critical assistance to victims in Samoa. The funds will provide food, water, medicines, and temporary shelter to residents in the Aumi Laulii area, as well as others in the hardest hit section of the Tutuila island.