Cook Islands Cyclone Situation Report 1

Report
from World Health Organization
Published on 12 Feb 2010 View Original
GENERAL INFORMATION

Tropical Cyclone Pat struck the island of Aitutaki in the Cook Islands on 11 February with winds of up to 200 kilometres per hour, destroying large parts of the islands infrastructure and wrecking homes across the island. The Government has declared a state of disaster for the island. Power and full communications are currently unavailable. Clean-up operations have begun.

Tropical Cyclone Rene brought strong winds to the islands of Nassau and Pukapuka in the Northern Cook Islands on 12 February.

HEALTH IMPACT

Shelter is of primary concern in the wake of the cyclone, as 70-80 percent of housing has been damaged or destroyed. The Government has also expressed concern over food security in the long term.

The hospital, airport and port on Aitutaki remain functional.

There is a projected need for counseling and psychosocial support for people who have lost their houses and belongings.

Further assessment is being done.

Casualties

No deaths have been reported as of 12 February. Eight minor injuries have been reported. The population living in affected areas is estimated at 2 194 people.

RESPONSE

Government Response

The Government is coordinating the response to the emergency. Government ministers and officials are conducting assessments of damage and have initiated clean-up operations in Aitutaki.

International Response

International partners and concerned governments have sent relief goods and supported assessment efforts.

WHO Response

WHO has sent a letter of sympathy to the Government of the Cook Islands and stands ready to provide support for the emergency health response.

For further information please contact:

WHO Samoa Dr Baoping Yang WHO Representative Tel: (632) 528 9747 Fax: (685) 23-765 Email: yangb@wpro.who.int

WHO Samoa Mr Steven Mecartney Programme Management Officer Tel: (685) 24976 Fax: (685) 23-765 Email: mecartneys@wpro.who.int

WHO Regional Office Dr Arturo Pesigan Tel: (632) 528 9810 Fax: (632) 528 9072 Email: pesigana@wpro.who.int