2 Aug 2005

Telecom Cook Islands restores service to pre-cyclone levels

3:22 pm on 2 August 2005

Telecom Cook Islands has restored service to levels before this year's series of cyclones, but it warns the national network will never be utterly cyclone-proofed.

The general manager, Phil Henderson, says putting overhead lines underground means high winds can't affect the connections.

But Mr Henderson says encroaching seas will still be able to seep underground and damage connections.

"Greatest risk at the moment would be sea, seaborne damage. We get our cable networks submerged for extended periods, that causes corrosion damage on a lot of our underground connections, and it's just a matter of identifying those areas and going in and making sure that the joints are properly protected."

Phil Henderson says Meena, the first cyclone to hit Rarotonga in the past season, wiped out a quarter of the network, and Cyclone Percy destroyed nearly all of the network on the north island of Pukapuka.