7 Mar 2005

Tokelau aid shipment delayed

4:18 pm on 7 March 2005

High seas have held up the first consignment of emergency aid for the three atolls of Tokelau which were devastated by cyclone Percy more than a week ago.

Houses, crops, vegetation and infrastructure throughout the territory suffered extensive damage during the storm.

The New Zealand based administrator, Neil Walter, says the Samoa Express, which links the atolls with Apia, was delayed by heavy seas but is now due to leave Samoa for Tokelau tomorrow.

"and spend six or seven days taking food, medicine, shelter, generators, and other equipment to all three atolls."

Neil Walter says the ship will also carry a United Nations disaster assessment team.

They are to undertake an independent assessment of the damage done by the cyclone and identify what is needed for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the atolls.