17 Mar 2005

Cook Islands government waits assessment reports from cyclone-hit outer islands

3:05 pm on 17 March 2005

The Cook Islands government says it expects to hear the latest damage assessment reports from cyclone-hit outer island in the next few days.

A team of French soldiers is in Pukapuka in the northern Cook Islands to assist there and nearby Nassau in the ongoing clean-up from cyclone Percy.

Cabinet minister Tom Marsters says the government is awaiting assessment reports back from two government agencies which travelled to Pukapuka and Nassau.

Mr Marsters says a second shipment of relief supplies is on its way to Pukapuka by boat, because no plane can go there due to a lack of fuel on the island.

Meanwhile, he says the situation is not clear in Palmerston...

"The information from Palmerston has been a bit sketchy because their telecommunication system was knocked down. So we won't be in a position to really know the extent of the damage there until the boat gets back and we are furnished with the report. So we are hoping the damage is not as serious as Pukapuka but all information coming in one way or another (indicates) it doesn't seem to be too serious as the case is in Pukapuka and Nassau."

Cabinet minister Tom Marsters