Cook Islands: Depression strikes cyclone hit Aitutaki residents

Report
from Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Published on 15 Feb 2010 View Original
The people of Aitutaki in the Cook Islands are still coming to terms with the devastation caused by Cyclone Pat which ripped through the island last week. Government officials, including the prime minister and members of his cabinet, are reported to be shocked at the extent of the damage on the island.

Cook Islands News says the initial estimate of damage is in excess of ten million dollars.

Emergency Management director Charles Carlson says emergency response crews have been deployed across the island to conduct first response assessments.

Pac News says Red Cross and health volunteers have visited families throughout the ravaged villages to gauge their immediate needs and to ensure they have sufficient food and water.

Some of the residents on the cyclone-hit island are so despondent after the cyclone hit that they will now consider selling their homes and leave the Cook Islands permanently.

The island's mayor, Tai Herman, has told Pacific Beat it is a major concern for him.

"The worry that I have is that people could just, you know, the easist things is for them to go down and live in New Zealand or Australia and that's a big worry for me," he said.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation:
© ABC