8 Jan 2004

Red Cross says enough resources for cyclone operations

5:44 pm on 8 January 2004

The International Red Cross says its resources in the Pacific are adequate to deal with three simultaneous operations in three countries after Cyclone Heta tore across the region.

Damage assessments are taking place in Niue, which was badly hit, and Tonga, where the cyclone destroyed several homes.

The Samoan Red Cross has been distributing blankets, tarpaulins and water cans to the worst affected areas.

Leon Prop, head of the International Federation of the Red Cross in the Pacific, says the amount of resources needed will become clear after ongoing damage assessments.

But he says the organisation may have to look to governments for money.

"We are dependent, also, for support on the donor community and we would need to decide whether we can cover the needs there with what is available in the region already or whether we would need to look elsewhere and perhaps, knock on doors of our donors."

Leon Prop says the Red Cross has containers full of relief supplies at about sixty locations around the Pacific, and is prepared for more hard-hitting cyclones this season should they occur.