Cook Islands Cyclone Situation Report 2

Report
from World Health Organization
Published on 18 Feb 2010 View Original
GENERAL INFORMATION

A week after Severe Tropical Cyclone Pat devastated the island of Aitutaki, roads have been cleared and initial assessments have been conducted. However, electrical and water services are unavailable for most homes on the island. The cyclone damaged or destroyed around 57% of all buildings on Aitutaki, with the estimated cost of damage running to NZ$12 million.

HEALTH IMPACT

Initial assessments by the Government and international partners outlined the following health priorities:

- Shelter

- Safe water and food supply

- Sanitation

- Vector control

- Mental health and psychosocial support

- Medical supplies for those with chronic diseases or previously on prescribed medication.

Individual households lack an adequate safe water supply and around 70% of households on the island have damaged or inadequate sanitation facilities.

The cyclone also damaged the roof and flooded rooms in Aitutaki's hospital. The risk assessment team recommended that obstetric deliveries and patients in need of x-rays be referred to Rarotonga.

Casualties

No deaths or major injuries have been reported as of 18 February. Around 70 households or 210 people from the eight worst affected districts are living in evacuation centres.

RESPONSE

Government Response

Government ministers and officials have initiated clean-up and assessment operations in Aitutaki. The Government is currently coordinating the response with national and international partners as well as concerned governments.

International Response

International partners and concerned governments have sent relief goods and financial aid 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 expressed needs for the emergency health response.

Sources

Aitutaki Health Cyclone Assessment Report, Cook Islands Ministry of Health, 11 February 2010

Rapid Initial Assessment Report on Cyclone Pat, Cook Islands Red Cross Society, 12 February 2010

Cyclone Pat Initial Assessment Report, Aitutaki Building Damages, Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning, 14 February 2010

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