12 Feb 2010

Clean-up operation resumes this morning on Aitutaki

10:48 am on 12 February 2010

The cyclone-devastated island of Aitutaki in the Cook Islands is still without power or full communications as a clean-up operation resumes this morning.

A state of disaster is in place in Aitutaki, where 90 percent of homes were damaged by Cyclone Pat yesterday.

Aitutaki's mayor, Tai Herman, says there's only limited mobile phone coverage.

He says crops have been damaged, and that will have a long lasting effect.

"I've tell you what, they have mangoes all over the place, so we were suppose to have mangoes in the next two weeks but they are all on the ground now. But people have taro, arrowroot. The plants that have been damaged, people have to try and harvest them within the next month and after that there will be a spell with nothing for a little while."

The mayor of Aitutaki, Tai Herman.

Rarotonga escaped major damage as the cyclone passed the island last night and headed into open water.